Born in a wealthy environment, Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey travelled across the Mediterranean region and within the Near East from the 1830s, fulfilling his romantic passion for arabic architecture and lost civilisations - he constructed a Moorish palace to serve as a home in France. Having been taught photography by Louis Daguerre himself or Hippolyte Balard, in 1841, Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey went on for a three year tour and produced about 900 daguerrotypes - the eldest known today - of exotic landscapes and monuments such as the Acropolis, in Greece. These photographies would serve as models for the lithographies illustrating his publications about Islamic art. From the 1850s, he decided to stop travelling and dedicated himself to botany. Having never exhibited nor published his photographies, his work was only discovered during the 1920s and shown publicly at the turn of the 20th century: the revelation of a preserved historical treasure.