An Important Collection of Photographs and Personal Documents from the Estate of Photographer Avraham Soskin

Opening: $10,000
Sold for: $12,500
Including buyer's premium
An extensive collection consisting of about 400 photos and hundreds of personal documents, from the estate of the photographer Avraham Soskin. [1910s and 1920s; includes some material from later periods].
Avraham Soskin (1881-1963) was born in Russia and immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1905. Settled in the German Colony in Jaffa and opened a studio by the name "Photographia Progress", with G. Bruck. In 1914 Soskin moved to 24 Herzl Street. Soskin used the second floor both as his residence and his studio; in this studio called "Photographia A. Soskin", Soskin worked for 19 years, until 1933 (when the studio was closed). Soskin, who was known as the "Tel-Aviv Photographer", was amongst the leading photographers active at the time in Eretz Israel and is famous for photos documenting the two first decades of the first Jewish city. Numerous photos taken by Soskin which appear in this albums – portraits, group photos or photos of events and sceneries – turned to be the most popular and well known images of the Zionist ethos.
The collection presented includes three albums, arranged by Soskin's family members. Soskin's photos were mounted on the albums' leaves side by side with hundreds of documents from different periods including newspaper articles and invitations to exhibitions – all devoted to Soskin's photography. Also included are original documents from the 1920s related to "Photographia" studio or to Soskin's involvement in the city's life.
Following is the albums' description:
1. Album with 243 photos and tens of documents.
This album includes: 55 of Soskin's personal photos (mainly portraits, from different periods of his life as well as photos of his family), about 38 portraits of different public figures and 123 photos of sites, views or various scenes.
Among the portraits in this album are portraits of Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Berl Katzenelson, Chaim Weizmann, Bar-Kochba Meirovich, Ahad HaAm, Avraham Shapira ("Zkan HaShomrim"), Avigdor HaMeiri, Avshalom Feinberg, Na'aman Belkind, Rachel Blubstein, Aharon David Gordon, Mania Shochat, Zvi Nisanov ("HaShomer" member) riding a horse; Yitzhak Nadav ("Yemenite", one of "HaShomer" founders); and
Amongst the "general" photos: vineyard guards; Rishon LeZion winery; visit to Minshmar HaYarden and Ayelet HaShachar in 1920; "HaShomer" members; villages like Kefar Gilady, Tel Hai and "the yard", Zichron Ya'akov, Rishon LeZion, Kineret, Yessod HaMa'ala, Migdal, Rosh Pinah, Degania, Safed, Rehovot, Merhavya, Tiberias, Gedera, Mikve Israel; wonderful photos of a journey to the Dead Sea (with the group "He Lech!") and to Ein Gedi; photos of a trip with the Herzliya Gymnasium in Jordan (see hereinafter); antiquities in Jerash, Jordan; Aqaba; Naharayim Power Station; large photo (23.5X29.5 cm) of Miriam Peretz, member of Kibbutz Degania Aleph in a cowshed, 1912; photos of Tel-Aviv; horsemen in Petach Tikva; first water tower in Tel-Aviv; early group photos with Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and others; photo of Tel Aviv municipality board meeting; photos of returning Torah scrolls to the city of Tel-Aviv (1916); group photo of members of “committee for enlistment to WW I”’ photos of “HaShomer” members, large group photo of “Maccabi” Petach Tikva; Photos of Tel-Zviv Council members with Haim Nachman Bialik; “Hagana” occupying the Russian Compound in Jerusalem; and more.
Among the documents in this album: receipts issued by “City of Tel-Aviv Committee” for payment received for buying “Photographia House” (1919); receipt given to Soskin for various donations; share certificates in his name; check book (Anglo-Palestine Bank) from the years 1918-1921, with stabs on which Soskin wrote the names of the checks’ receivers, the amounts etc.; member cards in various organizations, invitations to events, and more. The album also contains photos of articles about Soskin, photos of exhibitions devoted to his photos, letters sent to Soskin family, and more.
Heavy album, 36X35 cm. Photos and documents are attached with sellotape or attached with glue to the album’s leaves. Condition varies.
2. Album with 127 photos and tens of documents.
This album includes: 35 personal photos of Soskin (mainly portraits, from different periods of his life and family photos). 35 portraits of public figures and 57 photos of sites, views or various scenes.
Amongst the portraits in this album are portraits of Yosef Aharonovich, Pinchas Rotenberg, Moshe Sharet, Israel Shochat, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, S. Y. Agnon, Yitzhak Sadeh, Yehoshua Hankin, Haim Weizmann, Israel Galili (as a child), David Ben-Gurion wearing the Jewish Legion uniform, Yigael Yadin (as a child) and others
Among the “general” photos: photos portraying Tel-Aviv scenes as well as other sites in Eretz Israel and various historic events. Photos include: a classroom in Herzliya Gymnasium; group photos ofHerzliya Gymnasium teachers; Haim Arlozorov and Haim Weizmann in a reception held for King Faisal; Lord Balfour with Haim Weizmann; Mosenzon, Dizengoff and Bugrashov (wearing a Tarbush); early photos of streets in Tel-Aviv; Western Wall; constructing the port of Tel-Aviv; Tel-Hai Yard; Rishon LeZion; and other important photos.
Heavy Album, 36X35 cm, Photos and documents are attached with sellotape or attached with glue to the album’s leaves. Condition varies.
3. Album: “Journey to Petra and Massada with Herzliya Gymnasium”, [1929].
The journey which took place in April 1929 was headed by the principals of Herzliya Gymnasium Dr. Ben-Zion Mosenzon and Dr. Haim Bugrashov. The trip was joined by the poet Ya’akov Fichman and photographer Avraham Soskin (see attached article by Shlomo Shva). Album contains 63 photos. Average size 11X17 cm. Condition varies, fair-good, album 18.5X29 cm, somewhat worn. 25 negatives are attached to the album, size 12.5X17.5 cm (some negatives are damaged).
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