Folio. 3 parts in one volume. 319 pp. with interleaved 74 plates, VII, original front cover with printed title, bound in latter black sheep with gilt decoration on the spine, modern bookplate (light foxing, mostly to first pages and minimal foxing in some white margins of text pages, printed paper cover with an old label, some folds, cracks and tiny loss of paper in margins, edges slightly dusty, light embossed spots in the lower white margin of the last pages, otherwise in a good, clean condition).
This original monumental pioneering work of Ottoman photography and printing includes 74 images of Ottoman costumes, made after photographs of Pascal Sébah (1823 – 1886), and text written by one of the most prominent figures of fin de siècle in Istanbul, Hamdi Bey (1841-1910).
The three parts, bound in one volume include photographs of costumes of: European Turkey (including Istanbul and Greece), the Ottoman Islands (including Cyprus, Crete and Rhodes), and the middle East.
The photographer Pascal Sébah was one of the pioneers of Ottoman photography and one of the leading photographers of the 19th century in Istanbul. Born to a Syrian father and an Armenian mother in Istanbul, Sébah opened a studio on Rue de Péra 439 in 1957. Until his death in 1886, after the studio was taken over by his brother and eventually his son and a partner, Sébah was known for his original photography on the field and in the studio.
The author of the work, Hamdi Bey, was a visible international figure of fin de siècle. Hamdi was born in Istanbul in a prominent family. During his studies of law in Paris, he discovered his passion for archeology, art and painting, which led him to become the main connection of art world of Paris and Istanbul.
Hamdi Bey became a founder of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum and of Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts, as a leader of the first scientific Ottoman archeological exhibition. With his knowledge and connections Hamdi contributed to the law against the exportation of Ottoman archeological findings, which stopped the uncontrolled selling of Ottoman antiquities.
Hamdi Bey was also known as an exceedingly talented painter, whose artworks are a part of many art collections all over the world. His most famous painting, The Tortoise Trainer as sold in 2004 for $3.5M and is currently displayed at the Pera Museum in Istanbul in a department dedicated to him.
References: OCLC 164821562 & 560006011. Atabey 551; Blackmer 957; Edhem Elden, Osman Hamdi Bey Sözlüğü, 2010.