Four albumen prints of Hong Kong in the late 19th century

[Hong Kong]. A fine collection of four late 19th century original photographs of scenes in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, [circa 1890].

4 albumen prints, 190 x 725 mm and 205 x 270 mm, all mounted on contemporary paper (285 x 40 mm) with manuscript titles in French.


"Hong-Kong / Panorama général": a fine, large-scale panorama embracing all of Victoria, the capital of Hong Kong, from the perspective of the harbour. The scene is centred upon the concentration of major buildings along the grand quayside of the Praya, including the City Hall, the Hongkong & Shanghai Bank Building and the Hong Kong Hotel, the six-story building featured in the centre-right of the panorama. Notably, the hotel seems to still be in a partially-completed state, as construction of the edifice was not completed until 1892, a detail which helps to date the photograph. Numerous boats can be seen plying the harbour in the foreground, evidence that Hong Kong was one of Asia's busiest ports. Victoria Peak rises above the city, and the thin white line shown ascending the mountain, above City Hall, is the famous Peak Tram. This funicular railway was completed in 1888.

"Hong-Kong / La Rade prise de Bowen Road": an engaging view looking down upon Hong Kong harbour from the perspective of Bowen Road. The line of the celebrated Peak Tram, completed in 1888, is shown running up the slope of Victoria Peak, while numerous ships ply the harbour in the background. Bowen Road was named after George Ferguson Bowen, who served as the 9th Governor of Hong Kong from 1883 to 1885.

"Hong - Kong / Anniversaire de la naissance de la Reine": this fascinating view captures the pageantry of the celebration of the birthday of Queen Victoria. Spectators are shown observing vast lines of troops as they fire an armed salute in honour of Her Majesty, while tall ships decorated with banners are moored in the harbor, in the foreground. Queen Victoria (reigned 1837-1901) personified the British Empire, and her birthday (May 24th) was celebrated annually throughout Britain's colonial possessions. Another example of the same photograph, entitled in manuscript, "Queen's Birthday Parade Hong Kong," can be found in the collections of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (accession no. 86.140.310).

"Hong-Kong / Une Rue dans la ville Chinoise": this photograph captures an interesting street scene in Hong Kong's traditional "Chinatown", otherwise known as the Wan Chai District, located to the east of Victoria. While Victoria had a more "anglicized" appearance, befitting the centre of British colonial administration, Chinese modes of building construction, signage and ways of life prevailed in Wan Chai.

Art.-Nr.: BN#45809 Schlagwörter: , , ,