From Istanbul to Yokohama by Adele Schlombs and Carmen Pérez González

Paperback, 302 pages
Publisher: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König
November 2014
Language: English/German 
Selected by Tank

The birth of photography is often dated to 1839, when Louis Daguerre invented the daguerreotype – a photographic print on a silver-plated copper sheet. By the end of the year, the process has become so popular that it had reached North Africa. From there, it spread quickly, resulting in a slew of photos that are rarely seen or documented in the West. From Istanbul to Yokohama is a collection of this early photography from 1839-1900, depicting life in various Asian countries, from Persian dignitaries to Japanese samurais. 


Image 1: Anon., Woman Juggling With Three Thread Balls, 1890s 
In order to photograph this scene successfully, the three balls must have been hung from the ceiling with a fishing line. A thread ball was a prop used by some geisha in performances, as well as in games such as temari asobi (“bouncing a thread ball”). This motif was also used in traditional painting.

Image 2: Anon., Portrait of a man, 1890s, albumen print

Image 3: Guillaume Berggren, N° 84 La Tour de Galata, after 1875 
The Genoese built the Galata Tower, also known as Christea Turris, in Istanbul in 1348. In 1875, during a storm, the conical roof was destroyed, and was only restored many decades later, in 1965-67.

  • From Istanbul to Yokohama #1
  • From Istanbul to Yokohama #2
  • From Istanbul to Yokohama #3