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Manuscript Journal with Photographs - Unpublished Primary Source Account of a Merchant Travelling Through Southern China - Yunnanfu and Guangdong - Text in German
1934. Yunnan, Guangdong, 1934-1935. Firsthand two-part travel journal illustrated with original photographs and manuscript route maps, describing one year in Yunnanfu [Kunming] and two subsequent journeys in Guangdong, South China. Signed dedication by the author inscribed to title page, dated 17 June 1935. Typescript text is in German, with Chinese surnames and placenames penned in Chinese manuscript. Photographs are neatly organized into corresponding sections of the journey, titled accordingly, and mounted to leafs adjacent to typescript caption. Qto. 92 pages combined, with 90 original sepia photographs measuring 5,5 x 8 cm, a frontis route map and title page which inscribed by the author on 17 June 1935. Maroon over green cloth boards, original endpapers reinforced at seam. Volume measures approximately 23 x 28,5 cm. Slight wear to boards at extremities, slight age-toning to some images, otherwise very good condition, a superb account with uncommon photographs. The author is an German merchant who was born in China, on the northern coast at Qingdao, who studied commerce in Germany, and who travelled for the purpose of trade as an agent of firms established in Shanghai and Canton. Travelling far from the usual touring spots, as he embarks on his commerce driven expeditions to south and southwest China, Glathe shares with pen and camera his experiences and his knowledge of regions not trodden by the common foreigner. Born in Qingdao, and having spent the majority of his life in China, his proficiency with the language and indigenous ways of life, lends itself to presenting authoritative, primary source insight. Alarmingly, slavery and public execution were still standard practice in the 1930s, in Yunnan at least. Unique in format and in content, this merchant's journal does not contain the standard iconic temples and pagodas, the Ming tombs, the forbidden city, or the like, but rather renders a most absorbing, unbiased and straightforward account of practices long before abolished in China's principal cities, and descriptions of remote villages retaining ancient tradition. After the Second World War, Glathe immigrated to Australia. The National Library of Australia holds a collection of 400 nitrate negatives, contained in four small albums, for photographs of southern China taken by Harry Glathe while he was travelling through Yunnan, Kwangsi and Kwangtung, selling dye and cloth. Approximately 160 of the images are also reproduced in a typed manuscript account of his travels in southern China, much like the present journal. The travellogue first describes one year in Yunnan Province, the author having settled in Kunming, and features accounts of the Yunnan slave trade, political corruption, capital punishment, spiritual legends, and regional custom. A 21 page narrative featuring 3 manuscript sketch maps, followed by 64 captioned photographs for visual illustration, the account and the photographic sections are each neatly presented in five areas of interest as follows: • Yunnan-Fu [Kunming] • Mineral springs in the Western Hills [kalkbrennereien] • The execution of two Chinese soldiers [Hinrichtung zweier soldaten] • Slavery in Yunnan [sklaverei] • River scenes and rock formations in the Kunming Stone Forest [Kunming, known as Yunnan-Fu until the 1920s, is now the capital and largest city in Yunnan Province, Southwest China, being the political, economic, communications and cultural centre of the province. Many of Yunnan's large businesses have established their headquarters in Kunming.] Almost immediately delving into Chinese politics, which, naturally, had a direct influence on foreign relations and commerce, he mentions opium, policing, and Lung Yun (1888-1962) - the corrupt and independent-minded governor of Yunnan, who had come to power in 1927 and was the last of the great warlords, and with whom he must have had a meeting. Glathe includes a close-up snapshot photograph of the governor. Five pages are devoted to slave trading practices in Yunnan, an industry largely trading women and children, describing the average prices fetched for a slave, means by which the victims are scouted, and their vulnerability although allegedly a protective system was in place. A section is devoted to an account of the gruesome public execution of two Chinese soldiers, death being the sentence for a crime of extortion. He further describes Buddhist temples, bronze and gold monuments, the deity Quan Yin with 1000 eyes, the cherished legend of the goddess Kuan Yin, a visit to Hei Long Tan Park in Kunming and its large Taoist Dragon Fountain Temple. He lists several other temples and altars passed on his travels off. Excerpts from the manuscript, dealing with the year spent in Yunnan: Title: Ein Jahr in Yünnanfu. H. Glathe. Im Auftrage von Herren Glathe & Witt, Schanghai. Vom 13. Februar 1934 bis 6. März 1935. [A Year in Yunnan-Fu from 13 February 1934 to 6 March 1935: Representing Gathe & Witt Co. of Shanghai. By H. Glathe] "...ist Hauptprodukt der Agrikultur neben Reis in Yunnan eben Opium. Unzählige felder tragen mohnblumen aus welchen opium gewonnen wird." [... the main agricultural product in Yunnan, next to rice, is opium. Countless fields produce poppies from which opium is extracted.] "Das einzige gebiet in china, wo noch sklaven im eigentlichen Sinne des wortes ganz öffentlich gehandelt werden, ist die Provinz Yünnan... Die chinesische bezeichnung für weibliche sklaven ist Ja Tou... " [The only region in China where even slaves are publicly traded in the true sense of the word, is the Yunnan Province... The Chinese term for female slaves is Ja Tou...] "Solch eine sklavenhändlerin geht aufs land und sucht sich dort eine tochterreiche familie heraus die sie besuchen geht. Nun gibt sie an, sie habe keinen sohn und möchte gerne einen sohn adoptieren. Es wird nun lange hin und her geredet..." [Such a slave trader goes to the countryside and seeks there a family with daughters only, which they will visit... they have no son and would like to adopt a son. It will be negotiated back and forth for a long while...] "In jedem falle hat die sklavin des recht auf die polizei zu gehen und sich dort über ihren herrn zu beschweren. Die polizei wird den fall untersuchen, und wenn berechtigt wird die sklavin ihren herrn entzogen und in die besserungsanstalt für frauen "Gan Chua Yuean" gebracht, wo sie als tochter oder frau verkaufe sklavin wieder zu sklavenarbeit verwendet, so greift die polizei auch ein, aber nur, wenn das mädchen selbst hingeht und sich beschwert." [In any case, the slave has the right to go to the police and complain about their Lord. The police will investigate the case, and if the right is revoked, the slave is taken from her master are brought to the reformatory for women called "Gan Chua Yuan" where they sell her back into slave labor as a daughter or wife, so too the police also intervenes, but only if the girl herself goes and complains.] "Die ausfuhr von sklavinnen ist streng verboten." [The export of slaves is strictly prohibited.] "Zwei wochen vor der Hinrichtung fingen zwei Chinesische soldaten einen kleinen schulbuben und versuchten von den eltern geld zu erpressen... Die soldaten wurden sofort verhaftet, verhört und zu pole verurteilt... Noch lange bleiben die Chinesen um die beiden Zeichen stehen. Es war ca. 32º in der Sonne, und erst am nächsten tage wurden sie weggebracht." [Two weeks earlier, was an execution of two Chinese soldiers who captured a young schoolboys and tried to extort money from his parents. The soldiers were immediately arrested, interrogated and sentenced to pole. The Chinese surrounded the two characters from a distance. It was about 32º in the sun, and the next day they were taken away.] The second narrative in the journal is in itself a two-part work, dealing with two consecutive journeys in Guangdong. First providing a general description of the province, Glathe then summarizes his observations of the populace and the unique characteristics of thirteen towns and villages visited, some of which were quite remote and diminutive. Some of the latter may, nonetheless, may have offered viable commercial opportunity for one who spoke the language and understood the lay of the land. This portion of the volume comprises 20 pages of text, plus 4 pages of manuscript diagrams, followed by 26 captioned photographs for illustration. A one week journey into central regions, from 20-27 April 1935, discusses specifically Waichow [Huizhou], Poklo [Boluo County], and Tamshui [Danshui]. The second was a three week journey, from 7 to 27 May 1935, to the northernmost inner reaches of the province, during which time he visited and assessed to Tsingyuen [Qingyuan], Yintak, Shiuchow [Chaozhou], Chihing, Namhung, Namon (Kiangsi) [Jiangxi], Gamchow (Kiangsi), Yanfa, as well as the remote villages of Lokchong [Lechang] and of Pingshek. Excerpts from the manuscript's second section, describing travels in Guangdong: Title: Mein Reisen in Südchina. H. Glathe. Im Auftrage der Deutschen Farben-Handelsgesellschaft Waibel & Co., Jebsen & Co. als Agenten in Canton. [My travels in southern China. H. Glathe. On behalf of the German pigment trading company Waibel & Co., Jebsen & Co., agents in Canton.] "Die provinz Kwangtung, ganz im Süden Chinas gelegen, ist eine der schönsten, reichsten - und schon durch ihre geopolitische lege bedingt - auch fortschrittlichten Provinzen des Reiches... Man findet hauptsächlich zwei rassen vertreten- die Eingeborenen, oder Punti und die vor ungefähr 6 bis 700 Jahren zugewanderten Hakka." [The province of Kwangtung (Guangdong), located in southern China, is one of the most beautiful, richest and already conditioned by their geopolitical circumstances - is one of the most progressive provinces of the empire. One finds mainly two races represented, the natives or Punti, and the "Hakka" who immigrated about 600 to 700 years ago.] "Angebaut wird in der Provinz hauptsächlich Reis, Rohrzucker, Hanf, Bataten, Erdnüsse, Obst, Tabak, Maulbeer und Gemüse." [The main agricultural products of the province are rice, sugar cane, hemp, sweet potatoes, peanuts, fruit, tobacco, mulberry and vegetables.] "In vielen städten besteht schon elektrisches licht." [Many cities already have electric light.] "Das Kwangtung immer mehr sein wesen als militärstaat hervorhebt bezeugen die überall anzutreffenden soldaten, mit mustergültiger ausrüstung..." [The Kwangtung increasingly emphasizes its status as a military state, testified by the ubiquitous soldiers with their exemplary standard equipment...] "Waichow [Huizhou]... Die stadt ist auffallend sauber... Der Mangel an Hunden ist damit zu erklären, dass ein junger hund in Kwantung eine delikatesse ist." [The city is remarkably clean... The lack of dogs can be explained by the fact that a young dog is a delicacy in Kwantung.] "Poklo ist ein kleines nest von vielleicht 5000 einwohnern... Das eigenartige bei einem chinesischen hotel ist nämlich, dass die wände nur etwas höher als manneshöhe sind." [Poklo (Boluo County) is a small center with a population of about 5000... One strange characteristic of a Chinese hotel are the walls which are only slightly higher than a man's height.] Harry Glathe was of German and Swiss descent, born on 20 July 1914 (only eight days before the Great War began), in Tsingtao [Qingdao] where his father was a merchant. As an infant he was taken to Switzerland when his father was captured by the Japanese. In 1925 he and his mother were rejoined to his father in Shanghai, who had re-established himself a an import-export business with a friend and colleague. Harry Glathe attended Kaiser Wilhelm school in Shanghai. For a time the family lived in Chefoo, where Alfred Glathe represented HC Augustesen & Co. At a fairly young age, from 1930-1933 Harry was sent to Antwerp, Germany, where he earned his commercial diploma, subsequently returning to China as an employee of his father's firm Glathe & Witt. He worked mainly in Shanghai until 1939, and travelled as a dye and cloth salesman for two other firms from 1933 to 1936, to Yunnan, Guangxi and Guangdonghe during which time he took at least 400 hundred photographs and recorded various aspects of social life. In 1939 he published a 48 page work titled, "The Origin and Development of Chinese Money." Glathe was notably proficient in Mandarin Chinese. He also spoke some Cantonese due to his work in South China. Glathe lived and worked for a short time in Hong Kong in the latter half of 1939, for a firm who then sent him to New Guinea. He was in New Guinea at the outbreak of the Second World War, and until 1946. Alas, just as his father had been before him, he too became a prisoner of war under Japanese rule. After the war, he emigrated with his wife (and possibly children) to Australia. He died circa 1995. A collection comprising a travelogue, photographs and papers, from his life and work in China were donated in 2000 to the National Library of Australia. The author's father, Alfred Glathe (1887-1954), born in Leisnig, Saxony, was a successful merchant in Qingdao and Shanghai, a prisoner of the Japanese in the First World War, a civil servant in Shanghai, and a active advocate for the repatriation of Germans in China. In 1909, at age 22, he went to Qingdao and worked until the beginning of World War I as a clerk in the department store called Sietas, Plambeck & Co. One of his colleagues there was Ludwig Witt, whom he later worked with in Shanghai. In Tsingtao, September 1913, he married Erika Wyss, the daughter of a Swiss official in Andermatt and Harry was born nine months later. Alfred was an active participant in trying to defend his city during the Siege of Tsingtao, October-November 1914, but found himself a prisoner of war, as was Ludwig Witt. His wife and son left for Switzerland. The company Sietas, Plambeck & Co was terminated and the entire property confiscated by the Japanese. In 1920 Alfred was finally released by the Japanese, and joined entered Augustesens' newly founded import-export company called "HC Augustesen, China Trade", the three soon becoming joint owners. By 1925 the firm was a partnership of five co-owner: Augustesen, Glathe, P. Hansen of Mukden, L.A. Witt of Hankou, and A.H. Schmidt of Niuzhuang, which also employed fourteen Germans. In August 1926 Hans Augustesen died. Alfred's wife and son returned to meet him in Shanghai in 1925, Harry then being eleven years old. In 1926, following Augustesen's death, Alfred Glathe and Ludwig Witt jointly founded their own import-export company, Glathe & Witt. In the 1930s Alfred Glathe was then chairman of the German municipality of Shanghai, and from 1 May from 1941 to 1943 a member of the Shanghai Municipal Council. As with many other Germans in China, in July 1946, following the Second World War, Glathe was repatriated to Germany, making the voyage on the "Marine Robin". He immediately found employment from 1946 to 1951 as a business-executive director of the Asia-Pacific Business Association in Hamburg. During this period, he was an active promoter for the repatriation of China Germans. [The Siege of Tsingtao took place between 31 October and 7 November 1914, and was fought by Japan and the United Kingdom against Imperial Germany. The siege was the first encounter between Japanese and German forces and also the first Anglo-Japanese operation during the war.] . Very Good.
      [Bookseller: Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts, ]
Last Found On: 2016-02-05           Check availability:      Biblio    

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