PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM OF (INNER) MONGOLIA AND CHINA. N.p., n.d. [1919]. 127 original b/w photographs, the large majority measuring 8x13 cm or 13x8 cm. 22x30 cm. Stitched. Silk-covered boards with wear to edges.
GBP 3,000.00
An interesting album of a trip to Inner Mongolia and Peking around 1919. We understand that the photographer was German. The album is unusual in that it ventures well outside the normal venues for photography of the period. It is the first time we have seen an album from this period (indeed any album!) that shows photography presumably taken in Inner Mongolia. The first two-thirds of so of the album illustrates a journey taken by horse and car around towns, villages, scenery and sites that include people in Mongolian dress, camels, yurts etc. We say Inner Mongolia because the scenery is more hilly than Mongolia proper and, towards the end of this section of the album, there are pictures of beacon towers and ruined sections of the Great Wall, followed by pictures of a pass in the Great Wall (possibly Gubeikou) before the album devotes its final third to photographs taken in and around Peking, in particular, a visit to, with much photography of, the Summer Palace. The first photograph in the album is a portrait of a man with the initials W. W. and the date of 1919 in the photograph. He travelled with a couple of male companions who feature in a good number of the images. The journey seemed to be for purposes of sightseeing and exploration. Rifles appear in a couple of photographs. They were presumably carried for purposes of security rather than hunting as there are no pictures of shot animals. The party used horses for most of the Mongolian part of the trip although there are a few photographs of splendid old cars which may have been used at some point - despite the terrain?!. Of other interest is a photograph of a collision between two trains, pictures of local people and a camel compound. The photographs of their visit to the Summer Palace are interesting in that the visit was taken before the Palace was opened to the general public. In all, a a total of 127 original black-and-white photographs, mostly either landscape 8x13 cm, or portrait format 13x8 cm. A few smaller photographs. The album generally in good condition, some wear, rubbing and fading to the silk-covered boards. A couple of tears to the paper pages of the album but no photographs affected. The photographs generally well-composed and in good to fine condition with good definition, a couple of blemishes and blurs to just a few images. Very rare given the unusual content.
Subjects: Photography
Item 544 in List 204.
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