Diezerstraat

This is the 4th colorized glass negative in a planned series of 5 that I’ve found on the website of the Archives of the province of Overijssel. This colorization is made up of 647 individual color layers organized in 81 groups. It took me a few hours every day for almost three weeks to finish it. 

Most, if not all off these photographs, were commissioned for use as postcards.

The scene here is the Diezerstraat, then as now, the “main drag” of my hometown Zwolle, in the east of the Netherlands. The year is approximately 1901, and we’re looking towards the east, where the street broadens into a section known as De Smeden (the Smiths), named after the craftsmen who plied their trade in this area for centuries. One of the three main entry gates of the town, de Diezerpoort, was located at the end of this street, slightly past the scaffolded building in this picture, which made this a convenient location for farriers and blacksmiths. 

Of note on the left hand side in this picture is the pharmacy store of the Meulenhoff family, indicated by a wooden sculpture of a “Gaper.” A gaper (Wikipedia article) is a stone or wooden figurehead, often depicting a Moor, Muslim, or North African. The figurehead first appeared in the late 16th century as a hangout sign used outside the storefronts of drug stores in the Netherlands. On the other side of the street is an interesting counterpart, a sculpted pig’s head denoting a butcher shop.

I’ve mentioned before that I believe these glass negatives are possibly part of a series made by the same photographer, who started in the Luttekestraat, walked past the Voorstraat, then the Grote Markt (coming soon!), then took this picture in the Diezerstraat and end up on the Diezerpoortenplas. One of the reasons I came to believe that is that this picture has at least 6 people in it who are also present on the Diezerpoortenplas photograph. See if you can spot them!

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