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Max Fruchtermann

Max Fruchtermann 1852-1918
Constantinople, Turkey

The most prominent early publisher of Ottoman postcards was Max Fruchtermann. Born in 1852 on the eastern border of Austria-Hungary to German parents he came to the central part of the Ottoman Empire in the 1860s. Two years later at the age of seventeen years, he opened a frame-shop at Yüksekkaldirim in Istanbul. It is hard to underestimate his role in the publishing scene that followed.

He was one of the first "editeurs" (if not the very first) to create postcards depicting the Ottoman Empire. Orientalism was still in vogue when Fruchtermann began creating cards and his depictions became very popular. His early postcards (1895) are hand colored but he began to produce color cards in 1897 that were printed by Emil Pinkau. In addition to his view-cards he produced a large series of figure studies and types in native costume. The disruption of the First World War caused his bankruptcy and he died in 1918. His son Paul continued to run his postcard shop until 1966 when the entire remaining inventory was sold off.

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