Documentary film “Zelic- Printers to the Empire”

Antonio Zelic (Zellich) of Brela was one of many Dalmatians who left his homeland in pursuit of a better life during the 19th century. However, instead of going west, he set out toward the East, to the Ottoman imperial capital – Istanbul. Upon arrival in the city on the Bosphorus, Zelic found employment at the lithographic print house of Henri Cayol, the first of its kind in the Ottoman Empire. In 1869, Zelic opened his own lithographic print house called “Zellich and Sons” (A. Zellich et fils). His descendants continued his work with great success, and the Zellich Print House, now known as “Zellich Brothers” (Zellich frères), became one of the most renowned in the Empire. Zellich Brothers won recognition due to the high quality of their products, and, above all, the amazing beauty of their postcards and posters. Their crowning achievement was an order for the printing of the Ottoman Turkish Lira banknotes in 1914. Zellichs received many Ottoman and international awards, including medals conferred by the Pope, the Persian shah, and the Serbian king.

Interviews: Prof. Dr. Ljubomir Antic (Zagreb), Dr. Vjeran Kursar (Zagreb), Edwin Zellitch (Athens)

Director: Srdan Segaric
Writers: Vjeran Kursar
Cinematographer: Karmelo Kursar
Film editing: Zoltan Wagner
Production: Croatian Television, 2011
Runtime: 27 minutes

Click to return to the documentary “Croatians on the Bosphorus” done by this team.

Antonio Zellich - the founder of the “Zellich & fils” printing house - further information on the Zellich family.
Edwin Zellitch - descendant of printer Antonio Zellich resident in Athens
Prof. Ljubomir Antic - author and historian (Zagreb)
Dr. Vjeran Kursar - historian (University of Zagreb)
An example of a Zellich published postcard.