AN BEAUTIFUL ARMENIAN FAMILY IN CONSTANTINOPLE, TURKEY

armenian family

Somehow this photograph survived. It must have been an incredible journey through history and time. The image carries some scars. The borders of the photograph have been trimmed (probably to fit into a frame), and the photograph is a bit warped. Not terribly warped, but enough to be unable to lie completely flat on an even surface.  This great photograph would look even greater if it was framed. I suppose I have said enough about the condition of the photograph. This image is absolutely extraordinary. The Armenian family in this image may be one of the most expressive photographed families that I have seen in my many years of viewing historic photographs. This is certainly a family that does not hide emotions. The family is also beautiful and wonderfully dressed. I am having difficulty figuring out the family constellation. In my opinion, either the seven people in the photograph are all siblings, or the image captures a father, mother, and their five children. The father would obviously be the man standing in the rear of the picture. The mother, I hypothesize, is the seated woman. What is your theory about the family constellation of the subjects of this fascinating portrait? There is a note inscribed on the bottom left corner of the photograph. I do not know the translation. The previous owner of this image informed me that this family is Armenian in origin and the photograph was taken in Constantinople, Turkey in the 1920’s. It is important to remember the terrible holocaust that the Armenians experienced just before the time of this photograph. There was conflict between Armenians and Turks between 1892 and 1915. This resulted in the Armenian Genocide which occurred between 1915 and 1918. Estimates are that between .9 and 1.2 million Armenians were killed or deported because of alleged political and security considerations. By the end of the 1920’s, the only viable Armenian population left in Turkey was located in Constantinople. This photograph measures about 5 1/2″ x 7 1/2″.

 

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Published in: on August 29, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  

THREE ADORABLE CHILDREN IN CONSTANTINOPLE, OTTOMAN EMPIRE

This cabinet card dates back to the days of the Ottoman Empire. The photograph features three very adorable children posing for celebrated photographer, Theodore Servanis of Constantinople. As the musical group “They Might Be Giants” describe musically, the city of  Constantinople became known as Istanbul (1930). The children in this image are wearing cute bonnets and two are holding toys while the third has a basket of flowers.

Published in: on November 5, 2010 at 10:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Turkish Family Poses in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

turkey

A Turkish family is posing in their traditional garb for photographer L.A. Sawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cabinet cards capture history and this photograph represents the building of America through immigration. How did this family adapt to life in this country? What issues did they face? Lots of questions and no answers. We can only imagine or read about the struggles of other immigrant families. The inscription below the photograph appears to indicate that this family comes from Bitlis, Turkey. Bitlis is located in southeastern Turkey, southwest of Lake Van and 4600 feet above sea level. It is rich in history, having been controlled by Arab dynasties, Byzantines, Persians and Mongolians. By the 14th century it became part of the Kurdish dynasty and was very autonomous until 1847 when it became part of the Ottoman empire. During World War I, the city was occupied by the Russians. The occupation had adverse impact on Bitlis; it reduced its population and damaged their weaving and dyeing industries.

Published in: on December 23, 2008 at 3:37 am  Comments (1)  
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