SEBAH, Jean [Pascal], and Polycarpe JOAILLIER. Panorama de Constantinople pris de la tour da Galata [cover title].

[Istanbul, c. 1895].


Oblong folio. Original red pebble-grained cloth, rebacked, highly decorated and lettered in gilt; 10 concertina-style co-joint mounted albumen prints of original photographs forming a continuous panorama (25 x 340 cm); cloth a little rubbed, the images very well preserved.

'Pascal Sébah (1823–1886) was a photographer in Constantinople (Istanbul). He was born there to a Syrian Catholic father and an Armenian mother. In 1857, he opened his first photography studio, “El Chark Société Photographic,” in Constantinople at 439 Grande Rue de Pera. In 1860, the French photographer, Antoine Laroche, directed the studio. In 1873, Sébah opened another studio in Cairo. Pascal Sébah suffered a stroke in 1883 and his brother, Cosmi, took charge of the business until Jean (1872–1947), Pascal’s son who also became a photographer, was old enough to inherit the business. To profit from his father’s fame, he signed his photographs J. Pascal Sébah. In 1888, Jean went into partnership with a French photographer resident in Istanbul, Polycarpe Joaillier (1848–1904). The firm of Sébah & Joaillier was named the Sultan’s official photographer, and at his request took photographs across the Ottoman Empire. After Joaillier’s return to Paris, Jean Sébah sold the business in 1908' (Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, online). A high-quality photographic panorama of late Ottoman Constantinople, with buzzling naval activity on the water and new buildings under construction.

Bahattin Öztuncay, The Photographers of Constantinople. Istanbul 2006. volume II, illustration 701.