Early 20th century photo album of archaeological excavations in Turkey compiled by Francis (Frank) Skinner McVittie (1872-1950).

From the description of the e-bay entry:

This album was presumably compiled by Francis (Frank) Skinner McVittie (1872-1950), an English businessman who resided in Smyrna, Turkey (now Izmir) in the early 20th century. His notes and descriptions are present inside the front cover of the album.

The “Prof. Weber” referred to in McVittie’s notes is actually his father-in-law, Georg Weber (1840-1910), an early archaeological explorer of the Smyrna-Ephesus region. Weber was regarded by his contemporaries as an authority on the classical archaeology of the area. In addition to producing numerous maps and plans, Weber published a number of archaeological articles in the “Revue Archéologique”, the “Revue des Etudes Grecques” and the “Mitt. des Deut. Archäol. Inst. Athen” during the period 1880 to 1904. His principal writings consist of three books:

“Les Sipylos et ses Monuments: ancienne Smyrne (Navlochon)”, Ducher & Cie., Paris, 1880;
“Guide du Voyageur à Ephèse", Imprimerie “La Presse”, Smyrne 1891;
“Dinair (Gueïkler) Célènes Apamée Cibotos” Delagrange-Louys, Besançon, 1892.

Further information about Georg Weber may be found in the Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology (Vol. VII, p.226, 1882) which contain printed letters that passed between the Secretary of the Society and Weber regarding the Tomb of St. Luke at Ephesus.

This particular ruin at Ephesus was a particular interest of Weber’s. His conclusion that it was not the tomb of St. Luke was accepted by Sir William Ramsay, who referred to Weber’s map of the Ephesus region as the only reliable one at that period.

Much of this information was obtained through writings of and about George C. McVittie, Frank McVittie’s son and the grandson of Georg Weber. The younger McVittie was a renowned astronomer and professor at the University of Illinois (the main belt asteroid “2417 McVittie” is named for him).

Physical description:

This album is oblong and measures approximately 16 by 11.5 inches, with sturdy brown buckram boards and leather spine. On the spine there is a paper backstrip with a handwritten title “Images of Archaeology”.

The album contains 27 heavy cardstock pages which are attached to the spine by gray-green cloth. There are a total of 44 photographs mounted on the pages. Many are accompanied by hand-written descriptions in pencil.

Loosely inserted are 12 large photographs, many with the same hand-written descriptions on the back.

Pasted inside the front cover is a type-written piece of paper entitled “Notes on pictures of Ephesus. 1906”. This sheet provides a brief description which seem to correspond to each of the 12 loose photos. The last line of the sheet reads, “F.S. McVittie. Smyrna, May 3, 1906”.

The album was manufactured by the Heinn Speicalty Co. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with their label inside the rear cover.

The photographs seem to be in very good condition. Of those that are mounted to the pages, only one has some mild creasing and a closed tear (approx. 2 inches). The loose photographs are also in good condition, though some have light chipping or wear to corners and edges. Two have small closed tears to the bottom edge.

image courtesy of Cecilia Loome
image courtesy of Cecilia Loome
image courtesy of Cecilia Loome

Click here to return to page on the autobiographical sketch by George C. McVittie.