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2014-08-25 14:51:51
Fine Private Album relating to the Chinese Maritime Customs Service - Peking, Hong Kong, and Manchuria - 1910-3
1910-3. Landscape quarto album (267 × 360 mm) Deep tan half morocco on oatmeal buckram boards, gilt rules to spine and spine and corner edges, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. 266 original sepia photographs (the majority 108 × 65 mm, and vice versa mounted on 27 dun card leaves, full y captioned in white ink. A little rubbed on the joints, but very good, the photographs largely mid to dark toned, overall very good. A highly interesting personal album containing over 250 good quality original photographs of the life of the European diplomatic and administrative community in China around the turn of the century. Unfortunately the identity of the photographer, as so often, remains a mystery, but the album is fully captioned throughout giving names, including a number of prominent figures, and locations. From the concentration of identified individuals around the Chinese Maritime Customs service, it is clear that the mystery compiler was either personally involved, or was a relative of an officer in the service, and from the timespan of the album and the evidence of a "leave" period in England, most likely the former. The album relates to a time when the plans of the recently retired Inspector-General Sir Robert Hart's of the CMC were coming fully into effect; "Hart's lasting contribution would be the foreign inspectorate of the CMC, a model of an empire-wide organization, centralized in Peking, administered efficiently and honestly, which The Times rightly declared 'one of the most striking monuments ever produced by the genius and labour of any individual Engl … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Peter Harrington
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