RARE COLOR PHOTOGRAPHIC ALBUM OF CONSTANTINOPLE, CIRCA 1890, CONSISTING OF 30 VINTAGE PHOTOCHROM PRINTS, BY THE INVENTOR OF THE "PHOTOCHROM," PHOTOCHROM ZURICH
PHOTOCHROM ZURICH. Constantinople. [Zürich: Photochrom Zürich, circa 1890]. Oblong folio (16 by 12 inches), 30 photochrom images each measuring approximately 9 by 6-1/2 inches and mounted on heavy cardstock; original red velvet, blue silk gilt-lettered title centerpiece on front cover, brass cornerpieces. $9800.
Rare photographic album of Constantinople, circa 1890, by the renowned studio of Photochrom Zürich, with 30 beautiful mounted vintage photochrom color prints offering exceptional views of majestic mosques, palaces, and plazas, as well as the people of this great city, in magnificent velvet binding with brass furniture.
This splendid souvenir album of Constantinople contains exquisite color photographic prints of images taken at the turn of the 20th century, produced by the revolutionary photochrom process. Photochrom (also called the Aäc process) is "a very successful form of color photolithography developed in the late 19th century by the Swiss firm of Orell Füssli and used mainly for topographical views; photochroms have almost the appearance of color photographs, but through a glass will show a delicate ink pattern which was achieved by a combination of photographic and manual work on grained [i.e., lithographic] stones, being a forerunner therefore of modern screenless offset lithography" (Gascoigne, 206). In this process, black and white photographic negatives were directly transferred onto lithographic printing plates to produce color prints. These photographs are a high point in late 19th-century photography, when albums such as these captivated a world newly spellbound "by photography's capacity to 'take them there,' and bring them directly in contact with the long ago and far away" (Parr & Badger I:18). Each image captioned with a four-digit number followed by "P.Z." for Photochrom Zürich, and then the title of the scene in French.
A few instances of marginal spotting to mounts; photochrom prints clean and fine, with vivid colors. Binding splendid. An about-fine copy of this lovely album.