Ca. 1930s. Fourteen loose real photo postcards ca.8x13 cm (3 ¼ x 5 in), one original gelatin silver photo ca. 8,5x12,5 cm (3 ½ x 5 in), all with pencil captions in Russian on versos. Overall a very good collection of strong images.
Interesting collection of Soviet real photo postcards showing Bukhara, one of the oldest centers in Central Asia. Once an important stop of the Silk Route and a capital of a powerful Emirate, it became a Russian protectorate in 1868. During the Russian Civil War the Emirate of Bukhara declared independency, but was invaded by the Red Army and was annexed to the USSR in 1920. On September 2, 1920 Soviet troops under command of Mikhail Frunze stormed and captured Bukhara, with the bombardment destroying a large part of the city, including the walls and many palaces in the Ark (the citadel of the Emirs), mosques, madrasas and living quarters. The real photo postcards show some of the damage inflicted to the city – the destroyed walls of the Arc, hasty repairs to the damaged brick work of the walls of the Kalan Mosque and the Ulugbek Madrasa. There are also views of the Kalan Minaret (“The Tower of Death”), Divan-Beghi Madrasa, and a series of vivid street views showing water carriers, horse-driven carts (“arbakesh”), Uzbeks drinking tea outside, donkeys laden with firewood, market goers, etc.; one view of a Bukhara street features numerous Soviet red flags attached to the walls on both sides. Overall an attractive well-preserved collection of Bukhara views in the early Soviet years.