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    [John Thomson, attributed]. Panoramic Photograph of a Bank along the Yangtze River in China. [Possibly Kiu-Kiang (Jiujiang): circa 1871]. Original composite photograph from seven plates. Approximately 97 x 11.25 inches (about 85 inches wide from the last mostly-intact plate), with a small detached fragment from the lower-right corner of the image (approximately 11.375 inches wide and 4.125 inches tall, along the right edge), suggesting the image was originally just under 100 inches long. Stored rolled, with associated wrinkles, some other creasing. There is a large closed tear across the left-most plate, with a paper tape repair on the verso, causing discoloration through the center of the image area; by the center plate (fourth from the left), near the right edge of the plate there is noticeable discoloration from heat damage, in the next plate to the right, a small hole has burned through (about three-quarters of one inch by one half-inch), progressively increasing in size until opening up to the bottom edge at the joint between the sixth and seventh plates; a small flap, about one and one-half inches wide, extends before the rest of the image disintegrates and funnels to a narrow point; less than half of the seventh (right-most) plate remains intact. There is some repeating spotty discoloration through the sky of the right half of the image; few routine chips an tears. Fair, but still a remarkable survival.

    After extensive travel documenting the Foochow region (resulting in Foochow and the River Min, preceding lot) and visiting Taiwan, "Thomson returned to Hong Kong; visited Shanghai in August and Peking in September [1871]; traveled up the Yangtze River for three months, reaching Hupeh and Szechuan..." (Samuel Stephenson, "John Thomson," Formosa). Jiujian lies up the Yangtze river from Shanghai and some of his photographs taken in Jiujiang were published in Illustrations of China and Its People, including "Kiu-Kiang (Foreign Settlement)," plate XIII in Volume III, whose riverbank shares a striking similarity with that in the panoramic photograph offered here (but a positive identification of any specific buildings was not made).

    More Information: The American-owned Shanghai Steam Navigation Co. has a visible presence on the waterfront, and G. C. Allen and Audrey Donnithorne suggest in Western Enterprise in Far Eastern Economic Development that their ability to travel between Shanghai and Kiukiang in less than two days gave them a substantial share of the business in early Yangtze River navigation (p. 129).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2018
    13th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 504

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