Ca. 1918-1919. Oblong Small Folio album (ca. 25x32 cm). 25 card stock leaves. With 225 mounted gelatin silver snapshot photographs from ca. 11x15,5 cm (4 ½ x 6 ¼ in) to ca. 4x6 cm (1 ½ x2 ¼ in); the majority are ca. 7,5x11 cm (3 x 4 ¼ in). One photo captioned “Danses en Macedoine” in negative; several photos with period pencil captions in French on the mounts. Period green cloth album. Covers with mild water stains on the lower margins, a couple of images mildly faded or with mild silvering, but overall a very good album of strong interesting images.
Historically significant collection of original gelatin silver photos taken and collected by a French military officer during the last phase of WW1. The photos illustrated his service in the Balkans in 1918, the Allied forces’ occupation of Constantinople (1918-23) and the intervention to Odessa (December 1918 – April 1919). About 130 photos show the Allied-occupied regions of the Balkans – most likely, Greece and Macedonia. Interesting images include views of towns, streets and markets, mosques, rivers, city monuments, scenes of a Christian funeral, portraits of local peasants harvesting grains, spinning wool, washing dishes, and carrying water. There are also nice photos of Romani people, Macedonian dancers, a newlywed couple, a priest, families, elders, street musicians, bare-feet children, etc. Over 70 photos show Constantinople (Istanbul) – Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Gate of the Dolmabahçe Palace, numerous street scenes with cars and pedestrians, the Golden Horn and its bridges and wharves, the strait of Bosphorus with sailing boats and naval ships, the banks of Bosphorus and the Rumelihesari fortress, etc. Several photos show public gatherings featuring waving Turkish flags (possibly, taken during public protests against the occupation?). At least five photos show the Black Sea port of Odessa (modern-day Ukraine) during the occupation by the French and Greek troops in the course of the Allied intervention in Russia after the 1917 October revolution. There are views of Odessa streets, its famous opera theatre (1887) and the monument to one of the city founders Armand-Emmanuel du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu (erected in 1828).
Over a dozen photos relate to military activities, including a view of a French tent camp, a caravan of military trucks and ten photos of a French military review and award ceremony in “Galatz” (possibly, modern-day Galati, Romania). Eight smaller photos at the end show Nieuport planes, pilots and commanders of the Hellenic Air Force during a review. One of the photos features visible numbers “N 6012” and “N 4613” on the planes, which belonged to the N 531 French-Greek fighting squadron.
Overall an attractive content-rich photo album showing the Allies’ activities in the Balkans, Constantinople and Odessa in 1918-1919.
Pencil captions: “Stamboul,” “Sultan Ahmed,” “Pointe du Serail,” “Const. Vie prise <…>,” “Minaret,” “Une vie á Stamboul,” “Odessa” (a group of four photos), “Galatz” (a group of four photos).
Price: $2,750.00 USD