202
202
Thomson, John
ALBUM OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF SWATOW, AMOY, AND FORMOSA (TAIWAN). [C.1871]
Estimate
70,000100,000
LOT SOLD. 134,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
202
Thomson, John
ALBUM OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF SWATOW, AMOY, AND FORMOSA (TAIWAN). [C.1871]
Estimate
70,000100,000
LOT SOLD. 134,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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Thomson, John
ALBUM OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF SWATOW, AMOY, AND FORMOSA (TAIWAN). [C.1871]
Oblong folio (305 x 395mm.), 71 albumen prints, on 44 card mounts, recto only, comprising: 34 large (from 100 x 280mm. to 230 x 260mm., or the reverse), two 2-part folding panoramas: of Amoy (145 x 535mm.), and Kakchio (145 x 520mm.), and 33 smaller photographs (average 90 x 90mm.), each mount with a border and the photographer's name 'J. Thomson. / Phot.' printed in red, most of the photographs captioned in pencil on the mount, in two hands (possibly Thomson and the original owner), contemporary red half roan over green cloth boards, marbled endpapers, repaired tear to preliminary leaf and first mount (not affecting image), some light spotting and browning to mounts, creases to panoramas, insect stain to one image, short clean tear to panorama of Amoy, lacking backstrip (crude repairs with blue cloth tape), binding slightly worn
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Provenance

Dr Edward Irwin Scott (1846-1914), presentation inscription to his mother-in-law, Catherine Maguire (née Fletcher; 1814-1897): 'To Mrs Maguire / from her affectionate son-in-law / Edward Irwin Scott / March 8th 1874.' (for further biographical information, see sothebys.com)

Catalogue Note

A rare album of photographs by Thomson, including views of Swatow, Amoy and some of the earliest extant photographs taken in Formosa (Taiwan), comprising: 11 views and portraits in and around Swatow, 17 of Amoy, and 41 of Formosa (for a detailed list see below).

This album was probably commissioned from Thomson by Dr Edward Irwin Scott, or his older brother, Dr Charles Mason Scott, who both lived in Swatow and had a medical practice there. The first photograph is captioned 'View of Swatow taken from Dr C.M. Scott's house.' Dr Charles Scott had established himself in Swatow in the mid-1860s and his youngest brother, Edward joined him a few years later. Edward presented this album to his mother-in-law in 1874, before returning to China with his wife Mary whom he had married in Dublin in December 1873.

Between 1870 and 1872 Thomson undertook a series of four major journeys in China, which included various coastal cities and ports, among them Swatow (now Shantou in Guangdong province), and Amoy (Xiamen), all easily accessible and connected to Hong Kong by a daily steamer service. In April 1871 Thomson made a separate journey to the island of Formosa (Taiwan), only 80 miles by steamer from Amoy, the purpose being (as he wrote later) "to go into the heart of the island to see the aborigines." He travelled there with Dr James Laidlaw Maxwell, who had taken up the post of medical missionary in Formosa in 1859, and may have been known to the Scott brothers in Swatow.

 Edward Scott was born in Dublin, Ireland, the youngest of seven children of Thomas and Margaretta Scott. His father was involved in the woollen trade, which one of his brothers joined, however Edward followed in the footsteps of two of his brothers who had become doctors and he studied at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. He took his diploma of LRCSI in 1867 and went to China to join his brother Dr Charles Mason Scott (1840-1907) who had established himself in Swatow in the mid-1860s. In a China directory of 1872 Charles and Edward are listed as medical partners in Swatow. Edward is also recorded as having been surgeon to Her Britannic Majesty's, the United States and Imperial German Consulates, the Imperial Maritime Customs and Swatow Seaman's Hospital. Edward returned to Dublin in 1873 to continue his medical training, where he also married Mary Elizabeth Maguire on December 9th 1873. On March 8th 1874 Edward presented this album of photographs to his mother-in-law Mrs Maguire before returning to China with his wife, where they lived until around 1880, after which they made their home in England.

 List of photographs:

1. View of Swatow taken from Dr C.M. Scott's house
2. Bird's eye view of the foreign settlement of Kakchio
3. View of Kakchio from the river. (2-part panorama)
4. Ohtingpoi village
5. Pagoda near Swatow
6. Bridge over the River Han at Cha-chow-foo
7. Bridge on the river Han at Cha-chow-foo
8. Pagoda at Cha-sui-to, near Swatow
9. Kulangsu Island - the British concession at Amoy (2-part panorama)
10. Kulangsu Island, Amoy
11. Rocks in the Amoy harbour
12. Amoy
13. Entrance to Amoy harbour
14. Boats, Amoy
15. Jars containing the bones of the dead, Amoy
16. A Temple at Amoy
17. White Stag monastery, Amoy
18. Amoy houses
19. Amoy harbour
20. A fall on the River [?]
21. [4 photographs of Chinese people in Amoy]
22. Takow [Formosa]
23. Takow [Formosa]
24. Pepohoan people, Formosa
25. Bamboo at Baksa [Formosa]
26. Bamboo at Baksa, [Formosa]
27. Fort Zeelandia, Formosa
28. A mountain stream
29. The [?] dwelling, near Baksa
30. [Pepohoan houses, Baksa, Formosa]
31. [View in Formosa]
32. Mt. Morrison, 13,000ft high
33. Bed of the Lalung river
34. A mountain stream
35. A mountain pass near La Lung
36. In the mountains near La Lung
37. [4 photographs of people in Formosa]
38. [4 photographs in Formosa]
39. [5 photographs of women in Swatow (3), Amoy and Formosa]
40. La-ko-ti valley
41. [4 photographs of Aboriginees, Baksa, Formosa]
42. [4 photographs in Formosa]
43. [4 photographs in Formosa]
44. [4 photographs in Formosa]

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