Portraits from Lima, Peru, 1916

There were few treasures to be found a month ago at the flea market in Parque Kennedy in Lima’s prosperous Miraflores district, but amid the drek of newly made trinkets and gaudy textiles there was a table belonging to a gruff older man in no hurry to sell anything: he had the good stuff.  As I sifted through a small pile of old photographs, Peruvians approached him to ask the price of an antique telephone or 19th century book and then walked away in disbelief.  I collect early-20th century portrait cards — like this one and this one, both from Italy — and though he had only a few of those he had something more unusual: these tiny (maybe 3″ x 1.5″) portraits, many of men in uniform, ripped from a larger album with handwritten text dating them to 1916.  There were roughly thirty of them and I tried to disguise my interest by adding some of the larger photographs.  His price was unreasonable, as I’d expected.   I ostentatiously removed some of the large photographs but in the heat of exchange my counter-offer was limited to the numbers I could remember in Spanish, and even those I ended up pronouncing as if they were Italian.  Perhaps for this reason, he showed some mercy: I took them all and am now in search of the story that binds them.

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One Response to “Portraits from Lima, Peru, 1916”

  1. […] of water.  I found the photograph at an open-air market in Lima, Peru — where I also found these amazing portraits I wrote about previously — so I assume the boat expedition depicted took place in Peru; to […]

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