Ephemera

Padova Freres Postcards

This Jewish Smyrna trading house produced a series of photo-postcards that are unique in that many of these historic images record the exact dates of the photos in the crucial stages from the end of the First World War to the establishment of the Turkish Republic and are thus unique visual records of this defining period - arranged in chronological order when date is indicated.

Captions: The entry of the British warship ‘M29’, 5-11-18 - interestingly 6 days before the formal end of WWI, as part of the Allied occupation of Smyrna post WWI defeat as an ally of Germany.
The caption in all 3 photos reads: ‘Noel Hissement du drapeau Italien chez les Dominicans, Smyrne 25-12-918’ - which equates to Christmas celebrations by the Italian Levantine community at the Catholic Rosaire church at Alsancak. The sailors seen are probably from a visiting Italian battleship, probably part of the vanguard of the occupation of the city by Allied powers shortly after the end the WWI.
Caption: Scene aboard the French cruiser ‘Democratie’ Smyrna, 2-2-19.
Caption: The entry of the British minesweeper ‘Aberdare’, 6-3-19 - as part of the Allied occupation of Smyrna post WWI defeat as an ally of Germany.
Caption: The majestic entry of the Italian dreadnought ‘Dvilio’ Smyrna, 29-4-19.
Captions: The landing of the Hellenic troops in Smyrna, 15-5-19.
Caption: Italian troops in Ephesus (in reality it is probably the Scala Nova region to the south), 10-6-19 - part of the international contingent of the Allied occupation of Smyrna region
Caption: The amusement of the first detachment of the 138th regiment of the Evzones, Smyrna, 1-8-19.
Caption: His Honour Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum from the New York delegation of [Near Eastern] American relief commission passing through Smyrna,, 12-9-19 - part of the international contingent of helping Armenian suffering post 1915, Rabbi Teitelbaum in 1918 was named a member of the Near East Relief Commission investigating distress conditions under the leadership of Herbert Hoover (later becoming US president). The guard of honour of boy scouts were probably the local Italian Levantines who embraced this Anglo origin movement with greatest enthusiasm amongst all the various communities. Rabbi Teitelbaum seems to be flanked from their dress by leaders of the local Jewish dignitaries to one side and local US officials / Levantines to his other and the man sporting the double breasted jacket is probably the local US Consul, George Horton.
A military ceremony at the St Rosaire Church, Izmir - 15-9-1919. 15th September was the birthday of the heir prince Umberto II (born in 1904), son of king of Italy Vittorio Emanuele III.
Caption: Mass in memory of the soldiers felled on the Italian front, 22-9-1919
A photo postcards from 28-9-1919, showing Greek, Jewish and Armenian boy-scouts of Smyrna on an excursion in Bournabat.
A photo postcards from 12-10-1919, showing Italian boy-scouts of Smyrna on an outing on the suburbs (now part of built up greater Izmir) of Poligon in the Hatay district.
A photo postcard from 25-11-1919 showing a football match between from the name clearly a Jewish team ‘Maccabi’ and the British Wanderer team that was the local Bornova team which boasted players from the La Fontaine and Whittall families. The playing field was by the Greek Orthodox cemetery of Michael Archon (Archangel) of Darağaç, as can the tombstones be seen in the distance. This field was at the time home to Panionios (the local Greek team) and is today’s Altay Alsancak stadium.
Caption: The French Mission presided by the Cardinal Dubois, Smyrna 16-2-1920.
Caption: The presentation of flags in a military ceremony by the occupying Greek army in Smyrna, 6-5-1920.
Caption: An important demonstration in honour of the Return in front of General Paraskevopoulos, Smyrna, 28-7-1920.
Caption: The visit of the Greek King Constantine XII, Cordelio, Smyrna,1921.
No date or caption, the ‘Hotel Institutions Francaises’ possibly refers to an informal French seamen’s rest, in a similar way as other nations catered for their merchant and navy mariners in different ways in these various ports.
No date or caption - the visiting French navy mariners from the battleship ‘Democratie’ pose both in a studio setting and also with the local French Catholic nuns whose elaborate head-gear (cornette) marks them as sisters of daughters of charity of St. Vincent de Paul, the biggest Catholic order at the time in the city. The young girls may be orphans in their care from recent calamities in the East. These postcards were clearly of low print run and would time out quickly, and in some cases the main buyers would be these visiting sailors and others reflecting on the huge post WWI changes coming to these vulnerable cities caught in competing land-grabs.