A pair of Mughal miniatures depicting palace sceneries with noble people entertained by musicians and served by attendents. Gouache with gold on paper. Outer margins filled with scenes of wildlife, flora and fabulous animals in gold. 18th century. Sheet size 28×19 cm. (2)
The reverse of the sheets is marked with retail mark from Max Fruchtermann, Constantinopel.
Max Fruchtermann (1852–1918) was born in Austria-Hungary to German Protestant parents and came to the Ottoman Empire at the age of 15 where he two years later opened a frame shop in the heart of Constantinople, present day Istanbul. Coinciding with the extension of the Orient Express with trains from Paris to Constantinople, through Strasbourg, Munich, and Vienna, Fruchtermann started selling postcards with oriental motives to the newly arrived tourists at affordable prices. The oriental craze of the time fueled the demand and Fruchtermann found it hard to satisfy a market he himself had invented. People started collecting, exchanging, and trading the postcards at far higher price than the originals, turning Fruchterman’s postcards into a curious kind of currency. With the arrival of The First World War the emerging tourist industry was suddenly put to a halt and Fruchtermann was pushed into bankruptcy. He soon after died, in the middle of war, alcohol, and depression, leaving behind him postcards from a time gone by.