January 17, 2010

1920s Constantinople

Step back 90 years into the charm of Constantinople (now Istanbul). This set of prints offers a window into the everyday culture of Turkey. Scenes depicting marketplace transactions and street entertainers are set against the breathtaking backdrop of Justinian's 6th century Hagia Sophia. The warm tones, animated expressions and body language of each figure and the ability of each work to communicate a story is an inspiration to illustrators. Each piece is marked "Constantinople 1920" on the front and on the back with a number ranging 1-30. The illustrations are rendered in what appears to be an opaque watercolor or gouache. It is a unique pleasure to come across such a broad collection of illustrations this old!

 
 
 
 
 

22 comments:

  1. who is the artist and what year were they completed? How many in the series and for what publication?

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  2. Thank you for your interest in this post! The pieces were not signed other than "Constantinople 1920". This set had about 12 pieces in it, but each was numbered in a range of 1-30. I do not believe they were created for any publication, but I do not have much research on the subject.

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    1. I just found #29 at a yard sale. What a beautiful piece!

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  3. My aunt who is 91 said that she went to this house in the middle of nowhere and ordered paintings from an unknown but well talked about painter. I have 6 of hers.

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  4. Are they also from Turkey? Do they look like this set? It would be neat to see more of them!

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  5. Ms. Harris - I read this post with great interest. I just purchased three pieces at a flea market in San Antonio, Texas. One of them is identical to the top piece ("Yok"), so clearly the artist painted multiples -- I am guessing they were made for the tourist market. Have you been able to find out more about the artist in the months since you first published your posting? Like yours, mide are "signed" Constantinopole 1920 -- gouache on thick stock, though they are not numbered.

    Any information greatly appreciated.

    Regards,

    Paco Felici
    pacof@aol.com

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  6. we too have a few of these delightful prints which we acquired many years ago-is there a way to estimate the value? thanks, a pollack
    aanda33@windstream.net

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  7. Unfortunately I don't have any insight into the value of these pieces. I wish I could be more helpful!

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  8. hi,
    this painter is KARELİN Mitritch.. All watercolors are from constantinople..I am a collector who collect her paintings. I guess many painters copied her paintings so we can find over 10 different watercolors of "YOK" series..the ones which were signed by her is orijinall. the rest are copies as your series here..Do you consider to sell them..

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    1. Hello - I have four that I am interested in selling if someone were interested?
      The pictures decpict -
      1) Man being shaved in a market
      2) Man pouring tea for young boy (as pic above)
      3) Horse cart stopping infront of tram
      4) Men carrying a religous item pictured infront on the blue mosque (signed Mitritch)
      Many thanks,
      Hannah
      Email: dr002hg@gold.ac.uk

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  9. These have already been sold. Thank you for your interest!

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  10. if anyone consider to sell them please write me..I am researching about that painter. Thank you.

    zeynepculha@gmail.com

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  11. I am interested in the value also...I have 3 one of which is the same as the man on the donkey. Then other 2 or 4 men an a fish market and the last is of a man with a dancing bear. The were acquired by a family friend many many years ago in a trip to turkey

    Lou@lmcfamily.com

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  12. I would be quite interested in knowing an approximate value of these paintings. I have 3 in my possession, purchased by my parents when they lived in Turkey - are at least 60 years old. One of the prints has a faint stamp on the back "OSMANLILAR ZAMANINA AiT".
    None of mine have a number. My sister has some of them as well.
    If you have any information, please let us know.

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  13. As a carpet dealer who frequently visits Istanbul I find these paintings most distinctive and recognisable. All my paintings have been sourced in England as the British were one of the principal occupying forces there in 1919 - 1922 period prior to the present republic. The best ones I ever acquired depict drunken Allied soldiers being carried late at night by ' Hamal ' local porters. Is this artist sometimes referred to as JACK ? Some of my more recent ones are now published on my website under the Stock / Paintings section

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  14. Hello - I have four that I am interested in selling if someone were interested?
    The pictures decpict -
    1) Man being shaved in a market
    2) Man pouring tea for young boy (as pic above)
    3) Horse cart stopping infront of tram
    4) Men carrying a religous item pictured infront on the blue mosque (signed Mitritch)
    Many thanks,
    Hannah
    Email: dr002hg@gold.ac.uk

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  15. http://www.artpointgallery.com/index.php?Page=Auction&ID=2088&auction_id=40&lno=39&lang=en

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  16. I have six prints in excellent condition for sale. Give me your best offer. catorii50@yahoo.com

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  17. catorisi50@yahoo.com

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  18. My family lived in Ankara, Turkey in 1948-50 and bought a number of these watercolors. They were very cheap and could be found in almost every tourist shop. Although signed "1920" many of the scenes depicted were still available "live" in cities like Ankara and Istanbul. I still have three in very good condition and I believe that my sister must have a few more.

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  19. I have 6 of these purchased in Istanbul in the late 1940's by a U.S. Admiral and Miltary Attaché to Turkey. I would be interested in the value as well as possibly selling them to a collector.

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  20. HI I have 4 of these purchased by my family while stationed inTurkey sometime between 1950-1952. Does anyone know the value?

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