Hamish Riley-Smith

Rare Books And Manuscripts

Alphonse Rubellin

Saddled camel with calf and owner

Smyrna circa 1880

Albumen print with oval corners 17.2 x 20.0cm, pasted on original album leaf titled in ink in a contemporary hand Smyrna Turkey in Asia, preserved in an acid free mount.

The bearded and turbaned trader stands in front of his camel with its calf behind in a cobbled and flag stoned street beside a building with five columns at the side with shuttered windows. In the background can be seen the rear of another camel and beyond an archway.

Smyrna was one of the most important harbour settlements of Western Anatolia - the largest city of Asiatic Turkey and her greatest trade centre, and the second largest city of Turkey. The most mentioned issue by visitors are the camels that pass the lanes and narrow streets while carrying loads, Schubert wrote "When two camels came across in lanes, the one carrying less valuable load would sit down on its knees and the other one would jump over it. At this time, people on the streets would have to shelter in shops."

Maison Rubellin had a studio in Smyrna at 120 rue Franque from the 1870’s where they advertised themselves as Photographie Parisienne. They produced some fine views of the entire area around Smyrna...another speciality was Types et Costumes de l’Asie Mineure.
“A photographer most likely of French origin, established his studio in Smyrna (Izmir), Turkey, in 1860, advertising his business as Photographie Parisienne. Rubellin specialized in views of Smyrna and surrounding areas, focusing on ancient ruins. The firm also produced studio portaits, portrayed the types and costumes of Asia Minor, and photographed Istanbul and Athens. When at least one of Rubellins sons joined the studio it became known as Rubellin père et fils, becoming Rubellin fils in 1900”. Getty Research Institute

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Alphonse Rubellin - Saddled camel with calf and owner

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