'Rue de Tophanna', c 1855.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of a street in the Tophana area of Istanbul, Turkey, taken by James Robertson. The Tophana area was the arsenal and cannon foundry for the Ottoman Empire. Born in Scotland, Roberston settled in Constantinople in 1841 and took up photography in the early 1850s. Around this time he began working with his brother-in-law Felice Beato, photographing subjects in and around Constantinople (Istanbul). Some photographs are signed 'Robertson, Beato and Co' and it is possible the 'and Co' refers to Felice's brother Antonio Beato. Robertson and Beato photographed the Crimean War in 1855 and the Indian Mutiny in 1857-1858.