Set with 21 original photolithographic colour prints of Ottoman Constantinople, ca. 1890 – 1900


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PHOTOCHROM, Zürich, Ed.: [SET WITH 21 PHOTOLITHOGRAPHIC COLOUR PRINTS OF OTTOMAN CONSTANTINOPLE .] Zurich: Photochrom , s.a. [ca. 1890 – 1900]. 19 loose prints on thin paper with blank backs measuring 22,5 x16,5 cm each, with gilt inventory number and caption on lower left edge recto as well as stamped „PHOTOCHROM“ verso.

Outstanding set of 21 well preserved original photolithographic colour prints depicting panoramic views, sights, people and street scenes from Ottoman Constantinople and surroundings around 1900.

Contents, Technique: Present set includes the following prints with captions in french (in numerical order of inventory numbers): 1) „Fontaine Sultan Ahmed“ (no. 6033, see image), 2) „Palais Dolma – Bagtché“ (6034), 3) „Pont de Karta – Keuï“ (6037, see image), 4) „Pont de Karta – Keuï et vue de Péra“ (6039), 5) „Cyprès et route dans le cimetière de Scutari“ (6040), 6) „La Colonne Brûlée“, (6191), 7) „Constantinople“ [View from the bridge] (6192), 8) „Porte du Palais de Dolma Bagtché“ (6397), 7) Sérasiérat“ (6398), 10) „Mosquée du Sultan Ahmed“ (6399), 11) „Ste. Sophie [Hagia Sophia] (6400), 12) „Scutari. Une rue.“ (6401), 13) „Mosquée Laléli Djami“ (6404), 14) „Top Capou“ (6405), 15) „Yéni-Djami. Au clair de lune“ (6574), 16) Bosphore. Vue de Kandïli – et Roumeli-Hissar“ (16522), 17) „Bosphore. Roumeli – et Anatoli-Hissar“ (16523), 18) „Bosphore. Mosquée d'Ortakeuy“ (16524), 19) Ancienne Muraille Jadi-Koulé“ (16525), 20) „Phare de Fénerbagtché“ (16526), 21) „Constantinople et la Corne d'Or“ (16559).

Photochrom prints, a technique invented in the 1880s by the Swiss lithographer Hans Jakob Schmid (1856-1924) and patented by his employer Orell, Füssli & Co. shortly after, were produced through the direct photographic transfer of an original negative onto litho and chromographic printing plates. Each colour in the final print required a separate asphalt-coated lithographic stones, often more than ten stones had to be used. Due to this instant process these images look like photographs in particularly bright colour.

At a time when colour photography was still rare, demand for theses colour images was hight. Photochrom prints were often sold as souvenirs at tourist sites or through mail order „to globe trotters, armchair travelers and educators“ (LOC), they were collected in albums, and as they are highly decorative they were also framed for display.

Condition: Prints nos. 6033 and 16559 with very small faults at lower right edge, some prints slightly bumped at corners and with very little creasing, generally well preserved set indeed.

Reference: „Photochrom Prints“. Library of Congress Web Site. 2. Dec. 2020. URL:

Additional information

Weight 1 kg