Sign in using your account with
Downtown, Cairo, Egypt.
Lehnert & Landrock: Orientalism Gone Wild
Lehnert & Landrock were Austrian and German travel writers, explorers, anthropologists and photographers who travelled throughout North Africa in the early 20th century and took artsy pictures of anything they fancied – mostly naked young African girls. Many of their prints have now become iconic of the region and can be seen at various tourist hot spots. I once saw an enormous blow-up in Dahab – who knew beach bums loved their art.
The best place to go for the largest selection is the flagship Downtown store that they established themselves, where you can buy as many original prints of the Tunisian Berber girl in traditional headdress as you like – I certainly did. Prices aren't prohibitive, neither are they cheap, though after first resisting I eventually succumbed to the lust for a piece of sepia history.
In case you're wondering, they did actually shoot more than bare-breasted girls. Camel-filled Bedouin desert scenes, old men in shop fronts, and feluccas on the Nile round out quite an impressive collection. Pay them a visit if only to relish in a bit of colonial nostalgia.
Stationary shops are in no short supply in Egypt. The average type of stationary can be found on almost every other street corner. But once we start talking about quality, a wide selection and, sometimes, obscure little knick knacks, suddenly, there’s far fewer choices of stationeries to go to.
Possibly the most famous of all the stationary shops is Samir & Aly. Situated on Sherif St. in Downtown Cairo, this particular branch has two large spacious floors plus two separate quarters located at either side of Alwan.
With a much bigger selection than any other stationary shop, Samir & Aly look to meet all the needs from school and office supplies to an extensive art section with different types of paint, canvases, sketchbooks, paper, and even a selection of easel’s to choose from.
Sketchbooks are available in a range of sizes—A4, A3 and A5. The qualyty of the paper feels very rich. There is a whole wall dedicated to drawing pastels with one small box of 12 costing 53,55LE. A set of 18 Gouache paints costs 46LE plus the bottle of fixative to brush over your finished painting costs 14.95LE. Should you run out of one particular colour, Samir & Aly offer single 200ml tubes of acrylic paint at 23,90LE. Other sizes are available as well.
In the window there is a nice range of stylish stationary gifts including beautiful wooden pen holders for your desk; paper holders and organisers made from the same mahogany wood and even a large selection of lamps. One of the cheaper ones costs 50,89LE, whereas a more stylish and mobile lamp costs 159LE.
The prices here at Samir & Aly are a little steep, but that is reflected in the qualyty of the brands that they carry, including Faber Castell, Uni Ball, Parker Fabriano and Office.
The first branch of Samir & Aly was opened in 1969 by Samir El Maayergy and Aly Shatla, it quickly grew to four branches by the early 1980’s and thanks to their savvy business minds has became a staple of stationary shopping in Cairo.