Two Islamic hammams:
Rhodes, Greece and Eski Kaplıca, Turkey

< Postcard: Unknown hammam in Rhodes, Greece (Milan: Bestetti & Tumminelli, 191?)
< Postcard: Eski Kaplıca (The Old Baths), Bursa (Publisher unknown)

The bathers depicted in these two postcards are shown in positions and attitudes similar to those which might have been used as image sources by George Daniel Stevenson and George Somers Clarke's architects when working on their architectural presentations for the directors of the Jermyn Street Hammam.

The image of the shampooer in the Greek hammam is similar to ones which might have been used as sources for Stevenson's picture of the shampooer (left foreground) in his sepia wash of the hararah; the bathers in the Turkish hammam offer a selection of poses similar to those which would have been available as sources to whoever was responsible for the picture used for the wood engraving of the bather at the side of the pool in the meshlak.

The Eski Kaplıca baths are unusual because Islamic hammams rarely have a pool like the ones which were so much a part of the ancient Roman thermae. Islam does not allow still (ie, stagnant) water to be used for ritual cleansing before prayer, but the baths at Bursa have access to a source of continuously running water.

The postcards are from the collection of the Victorian Turkish Baths Project


This page first published 02 January 2023

This page enlarges an image or adds to the information found below:

Sexual activities in the Jermyn Street Hammam. 3: A case study in queer history

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  Malcolm Shifrin, 1991-2023