ART / BOOKS / July 14, 2014

Vintage #1 Postcards from Constantinople

Vintage  Constantinople postcards are somehow still popular in Istanbul after more than a hundred years they were first printed. It was Max Fruchtermann, an Austria-Hungarian entrepreneur, who opened a shop in Pera and popularized the picture postcards on the Ottoman land in the late 19th century. He  was one of those who was enchanted by this once-exotic (maybe it still is) city and ended up here. With the breeze of Orientalism sweeping the world, the Ottoman land was introduced to the West through these images.  Souvenir de Constantinople & Salut de Constantinople series and many other albums documented the way of life through watercolor painting, illustrations, black & white and color photography. It was the age of trains, and international travels, so no wonder why the craze for postcards boomed: they made the far away lands visible for those who could not afford to travel and sparked the travel bug in those who could.

If you are keen on seeing more of Constantinople postcards, here is the complete collection put together by the archivist and historian Mert Sandalcı: the postcards of Max Fruchtermann. This 3-volume catalogue is massive and pricey enough to be a collector’s item. Yet, with images bearing historical landmarks, landscape, common people engaged in everyday activities, or performing different professions, historical figures, and historic events, it promises to offer a glimpse of life in the late 19th century. Here is a bunch of illustrated watercolors. More to come…




click on the arrows for more photos. 



Tags:  Anadolu Hisarı Beyazid Tower Bosphorus Chora Museum Constantinople Fenerbahçe Galata Tower Golden Horn Hagia Sophia islands Koç Bank publications Mert Sandalcı Orientalism postcards Rumeli Hisarı Salut de Costantinople Selimiye Barracks series slide Souvenir de Constantinople sublime port Tarabya the Maiden's Tower vintage watercolor whirling dervishes Yıldız Mosque Yedikule

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Jan 02, 2015

Wow, what a great collection! You know I like postcards, NIhan! Are any of these available to buy in shops to post? What a great idea that would be; reprint them and sell them to tourists to relive the dream! All the best for 2015. Scott

    Jan 25, 2015

    Thank you Scott:) I’m sure it is possible to find some of them in the shops around Galatasaray or Tünel. I’ll keep it in mind!

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