F. Hordet

F. Hordet was the first photographer of an extensive commercial series. Hordet was French – his prints are also captioned by writing directly on the negative and sometimes additionally on the print itself in both French and Russian, but his name is signed using Cyrillic print. Almost nothing is known of Hordet except that he traveled in Central Asia between 1885 and 1892.  Hordet produced an extraordinary series of photographs covering many aspects of life in Samarkand and Bukhara, from the commercial enterprises of the bazaar to scenes of the Emir’s palace and portraits of men, women, and children. His photographs often focus on the details of a scene - elements of dress, interior decoration, individual items in a shop or display. Though often faded, his photographs contain a wealth of information about the material culture of the Central Asian khanates, and his portraits have greater individuality and character than those of many other photographers. Hordet’s sepia-toned albumen prints were in the general range of 16 x 22 cm size and mounted on board. His negative-numbering system gives some clue to his prolific nature. Known prints span at least between numbers 1504 and 1602, a few are numbered in the 1800s or 2000s, and many more appear between 2745 and 2791.