Edward Purser and family at their Aziziye farm
Considering the early date of this photo, it is possible one of the photographers of Smyrna was commissioned for a day for this family portrait to be taken. The large bowl on plinth in the background is possibly a Roman artifact picked up by Mr Purser during his work (?). However it was pointed out by Mr Willem Daniels that the photo is on closer examination becomes obvious that it’s actually a cut-and-paste job with the people apparently cut out of other photographs and pasted on to a picture of the house. It seems photo trickery is as old photography itself. Below a copy of an oil painting whose original is now lost, a younger Edward Purser with his first wife, nee Malet in India, who died young of a pestilence caught in that country. Wife came from an English engineering firm.
According to Willem Daniels Edward Purser’s main residence was in Smyrna, probably in the Bella Vista quarter, it survived the fire of 1922 and was probably still standing in the 1950s. It has since been razed to the ground and its precise location is unknown to any descendants.
image courtesy of Andrew Simes
The result of a chance discovery by Andrew Simes in 2009 in an Izmir antique store: an inscribed coming-of-age chalice in silver, given to Edward Purser, while he was in England, and clearly the young engineer carried it with him when he later moved to Turkey. The Purser / de Jongh family were not poor, so the likelihood it ended in the ‘free market’ during the looting and confusion that accompanied the 1922 events.
image courtesy of Andrew Simes
image courtesy of Andrew Simes