Cashing in on the disturbances

In March 1897, Greek troops under Colonel Vassos along with Cretan Christian insurgents threatened to isolate and cut off the main source of water for Canea. The response of the European powers was to occupy Fort Subachi at Perivolia/Butsinaria. Fort Subachi at Perivolia/Butsinaria.

This event was reported, with illustrations, in a number of European newspapers. As  mentioned elsewhere,elsewhere, at least one enterprising European merchant sought to cash in on this event, using contemporary newspaper illustrations as the basis of advertising cards.

Further research has brought to light several other instances of the same company, Pfeiffer and Diller, attempting to cash in on events occuring in Crete and reported in European newspapers.

Pfeiffer and Diller ‘Cretan’ advertising cards

The cards and the illustrations they were copied from are shown below.

February 1897 Cretan Christain Insurgent attack on Suda Bay repulsed.

Cretan Christian attack on Suda Bay. Illustrated London News.

Pfeiffer and Diller card of attack on Suda Bay.

Note that the card above bears the title, in German, ‘Turks in action at Larissa.’ This is presumably a reference to the fall of the town of Larissa  to Ottoman forces on 27th April 1897, during the 30 Days War. (For the  record, Larissa is in Thessaly and nowhere near Crete!)

2 March 1897. Gendarmerie Mutiny.

Italian marines open fire on mutinous Gendarmerie

Pfeiffer & Diller card of Gendarmerie Mutiny.

25 April 1897 Assault on the Malaxa Blockhouse Assault on the Malaxa Blockhouse.

Assault on the Malaxa Blockhouse. Le Petit Journal

Pfeiffer & Diller card of Insurgents storming the Malaxa Blockhouse.

April 1897, Fort Subachi.

European forces occupying Fort Subachi. Illustrated London News 24 April 1897.

Pfeiffer & Diller card of European forces at Fort Subachi.

The remaining two cards in the set appear to relate directly to the 30 Days War.

Pfeiffer and Diller, a coffee company based in Horchheim bei Worms am Rhein, Germany, were founded in around 1873 and ceased operation in 1943. During  the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many of their adveritisments played upon the Imperialist aspirations of the Second Reich. However, they were not alone in using racism and Imperialism to sell goods; many British and French companies followed exactly the same sort of advertising strategies.

Many thanks to Mark Neal for his help in sourcing the Pfeiffer and Diller illustratioons








1 thought on “Cashing in on the disturbances

  1. Pingback: Cashing in on the disturbances – Chocolate and Tapioca. | The European Intervention in Crete, 1896 to 1913.

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