Photographs I've gleaned from flea markets, junk shops and sometimes ebay. The cheaper the better. Anything with a story that can be extracted from hand written notes, location research, local histories, census records......anything. A small band of fellow enthusiasts worldwide have helped me with many of these. Of course there are always mysteries that defy research, but there's even a story inside these. All images can be viewed at super-size on Flickr.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Royal Navy officers in China. 1900s or 1910s

Naval officers in Luchou (Luzhou) in Sichuan, China? A gunboat crew on the Yangtze? Naval attaches?

Quite a mystery, this one! Written on the back: "Paying a special call on the Hsien of Luchou". Also the name "Lieutenant Shepherd". Men dressed in Qing dynasty style. The device in the middle appears to be an Edison wax cylinder player / recorder. 'Hsien' means an administrative district or seat of government of such a district. 
Difficult to figure out the location because of variable spellings when Latinising Chinese. Probably Luzhou, upriver from Chongqing (Chungking) in Sichuan province. Chongqing was the first inland port to be opened to foreigners in 1891. Could these officers be off a river gunboat? 
They appear to be in the central inner-hall of a traditional Chinese house, in front of the folding screen of the house shrine. 


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