Market Friday: an exhibition of old photographs in a department store

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I used my self-portrait as the title photo of today's post; it was the photo that started my shopping trip that day. When I photographed my reflection in the window of a shop selling old cameras, I didn't yet know that the subject of analogue photoprocessing awaited me in the next shop.

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I had a simple plan: I was going to go to the grocery shop to buy food for dinner. On this day, I decided to put a little variety into my usual shopping. I went shopping in the supermarket on the ground floor of the Passage department store instead of going to one of the shops near my house.

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You may remember Passage Shopping Gallery, I've told you about this high glass-roofed shop once before. I took a picture of the central gallery - if you read the previous post you'll easily recognise the place.

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Last time I walked through the main gallery of the shop, but this time I had to go to the basement and I entered through the side entrance. I found myself on an old staircase with a beautiful banister and a vintage lift, but I didn't go straight down to the supermarket . Instead, I walked forward a bit to take some photos of the interior.

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An unusual object caught my eye. In a deep niche stood a glass display case with a toy house inside. The black and white faces of the inhabitants looked out of the windows.

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The glass negatives now arranged in the windows of this toy house had been found during the renovation of the building. Carl Bulla's Atelier is the best known and most popular photographic studio in 19th century St. Petersburg.

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Each window has a portrait of one of the "inhabitants" of this unusual house: a young girl, an elderly gentleman, a strict mistress, a respectable official, a merry prankster...

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Although all these images are negatives, it is not difficult to understand who is depicted on the photographic plates. The glass window is quite glaring and my smartphone catches this glare, but I tried to place the camera so as to show the unusual windows of this house.

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Then I walked through the clothes shop and down to the basement. The interior of the clothing shop has retained the decorative elements of 19th-century architecture, but the interior of the supermarket is thoroughly modern. This shop differs from others of a similar kind only in its address.

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ā—‹ā—‹
SmartphoneGoogle Pixel 3a
LocationSaint Petersburg, Russia

This is my entry for the #marketfriday challenge by @dswigle.

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