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Photograph album of Canton, 1870s

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Photograph Album of Canton

Scope and Content of Collection

The disbound album of 28 photographs of Canton (Guangzhou) and surrounding areas compiled by an unidentified person in the 1870s. Based on the content of the album the compiler was likely a European residing in Canton at that time. The photographs comprise a mixture of Chinese scenes (temples, gardens, tea houses, rice fields), and images related specifically to the European community in Canton (Fort Macao; the European Concession on Shamian; the English church). Photographs recording the European community include three images taken at the Canton race course, two of which show the community gathered en masse; two group photographs taken on picnics in the Canton area; and a scene from an amateur theatrical production. One photograph reproduces a portrait painting or print of a young Chinese woman.

Two photographs are identified as being by Lai Fong and it is likely that he or his studio took a number of the images, as his studio frequently documented the events and outings of the denizens of the Western settlements in the treaty ports.

The album has blue paper covers. Captions are written on the mounts below the images in two different hands. Twenty-four English captions are written in pencil and four French captions are in ink. Two captions bear the date 1873. The image titles are taken from the captions.


Arranged in a single series:
Series I. Photograph album of Canton, 1870s.

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