[ASIA - CHINA] [Album of 206 Gelatin Silver Photographs of China Taken by a British Expat Showing Tsingtau (Qingdao), Kuling (Lianxi), Laushan (Laoshan), Hankow (Wuhan), Wuchang & Shanghai]
1907-1911. Oblong Folio (31x42cm). 20 thick card stock album leaves pp. With 206 gelatin silver photographs (most 12x17cm and slightly smaller and with three panoramas (Kuling & Shanghai) 8.5x30cm, mounted recto and verso, many with manuscript black ink captions in English on mounts. Original
full pebbled cloth album. Overall album is in very good condition with very good strong photos.
The interesting strong vernacular images in this album taken by an British expat show views in Tsingtau (Qingdao), Kuling (Lianxi), Laushan (Laoshan), Hankow (Wuhan), Wuchang & Shanghai. ‘‘This album provides a record of a British expatriate’s life and travels in China at the beginning of the 20th century. The photographer would appear to have worked for a trading company in Hankow, part of present-day Wuhan. The album starts with images of Tsingtau (Qingdao) showing Germanstyle residential and civic buildings, the Tsingtau races of 1907, views of a fire at the godowns of a European company (A.P. & Co.); these are followed by images of Europeans relaxing and bathing at Kuling in Jiangxi province and the Wuchang lakes plus a series of views of Laushan (Laoshan), the hilly area outside Qingdao. There are then 11 photographs of employees of A.P. & Co. Celebrating Christmas in Hankow in 1908.
A few photographs represent the expatriate resort of Kuling in 1909 and scenes on the Yangtze near Nanjing. Thereafter are all views of buildings, the river and boats taken in Hankow, followed by a number of photographs of people and places including a couple of the Shanghai races of 1911. The following photographs feature Chinese people, foreigners enjoying a river trip near Shanghai, then a lively series of photographs of races and an expatriate Gymkhana in Hankow in 1910, including ladies in full Edwardian dress and large hats engaged in a race, and a photograph of ladies in rickshaws ready to be pulled by expatriates (in a race?). These are followed by photographs of tennis, and 3 panorama-style photographs of Shanghai, including one just down river of Soochow Creek and a view of the creek. The final page ranges from Loochow Pagoda to Ichang, the Temple of Heaven in
in Beijing, Chinese execution and the Tientsin Fire bell. The album is of considerable merit in that the majority of the photographs are of places and scenes other than the more ‘usual sights of Beijing and Shanghai’ (Western Travellers in China).