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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Pascal Sebah

Other: El Chark Société Photographique 
Other: P. Sebah 
Other: Pascal Sébah 
Dates:  1823 - 1886
Active:  Turkey / Middle East / Egypt
Turkish nineteenth century photographer who opened a studio in Constantinople in 1868 though there is a reference to an earlier one in 1857. He photographed extensively in Egypt taking monuments and views appropriate for the tourist trade. In 1878 he won a silver medal at the ‘Exposition Universelle‘ for his photographs of Nubian desert tribes.
Care must be taken not to confuse his work with that of his son J. [Pascal] Sebah. 
Stereographs project 
Business locations 
Constantinople, Turkey 
*[J. Pascal Sebah] "Photographer", 439 Grande Rue De Pera; "Vues de Constantinople", made about 400 Middle East views, mostly of Turkey, few of Syria, Palestine, Egypt, 1 seen of Yalta, Russia; many fascinating interiors and views of people & activities; B. ÷35, Constantinople; D. 90. 
T.K. Treadwell & William C. Darrah (Compiled by), Wolfgang, Sell (Updated by), 11/28/2003, Photographers of the World (Non-USA), (National Stereoscopic Association)
Credit: National Stereoscopic Association with corrections and additions by Alan Griffiths and others.
NOTE: You are probably here because you have a stereograph to identify. Please email good quality copies of the front and back to so we can create reference collections for all.

Preparing biographies

Further research

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Family history 
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Supplemental information

Of Syrian origins, Pascal Sébah (1823-1886) opened a studio in Constantinople in 1857. In 1860 he secured the collaboration of the French photographer A. Laroche to direct his studio. In 1873 he opened a branch in Cairo, near the celebrated hotel of Shepherd’s, where he installed his associate. Pascal Sébah suffered from a stroke in 1883, and his brother Cosmi took charge of the business until Jean (1872-1947), Pascal’s son, was old enough to inherit the business.
Jean grew up to become a talented photographer in his own right, but to profit from his father’s fame, he signed his photographs J. Pascal Sebah. In 1888 he went into partnership with a French photographer resident in Istanbul, Polycarpe Joaillier. The firm of Sébah and Joaillier were named the official photographers of the Sultan, and at his command took photographers all over his empire. After Joaillier’s return to Paris, Jean Sébah sold the business in 1908.
[Contributed by Paul Frecker] 

Internet biographies

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Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Perez, Nissan N. 1988 Focus East: Early Photography in the Near East 1839-1885 (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.) p.220-222 [Short biography on Pascal Sebah possibly with example plates.] 
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