Konstantin Miladinov?
The Mystery of an old photograph from Ohrid

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While searching for “Macedonian art” I run in June 2015 to a Romanian antique photos dealer, Mrs. Margarit Sorin from Bucharest Romania. From her vast collection of early 19th century photographs, she pulled out a mid-19de century portrait of a young modern moustache beard gentleman with a stamp in Vlach language at the back: “Gl. Vassilofschi Photograf Macedonenu Dui Ochritu”.

I bought it immediately. Who wouldn’t? How often do you find on a market an original 1850s photograph, made by one of the first Macedonian photographers from Ohrid – Mr Gl. Vasilovski?

I spend my summers each year with my family in Ohrid. What I perfect timing! I can take the photo to Ohrid Museum and get some clues on who is this person from 1850s on the photo and who is the Ohrid photographer Gl. Vassilofschi?

Unfortunately, the Ohrid Museum and Museum of Macedonia in Skopje could not agree about who is responsible for such evaluation. I went back to Holland without much progress.

From time to time, I get another spike of curiosity to find you more about the gentleman or the photographer. The gentleman is obviously wealthy – his hair cut is modern for those times, the clothes are expensive, there is a golden chain (I assume pocket watch) hanging on his jacket. He looks educated and sophisticated. Maybe someone from Robev family? Grigor Prlichev?

Here is a bold idea – How about Konstantin Miladinov (Struga 1830-1862 Istanbul)? Could this be perhaps the only real photograph of him? There are several drawings circulating in the museums, let us compare one of the drawings with my photo:

At first, re resemblance is strong – the mustaches and beard are the same, the clothes and pose are strikingly similar, the shape of the face as well….But at the same time, they look also a bit different – the hair style, the color of the eyes. Still, I am comparing a real photo with a drawing of Miladinov, I wish I could know how much the drawing is identical to the real look.

This story is also a call for help. If you know any additional information about the man on the photo or the photographer , please share, so that we can resolve this mystery together.

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