Lot 259: WATSON, J.C. ALBUM OF PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHINA [C.1869]
China in print and on paper, including the Library of Bernard Hanotiau and the Floyd Sully Collection
07 November 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: Oblong 4to (260 x 310mm.), PRESENTATION ALBUM, INSCRIBED BY THE PHOTOGRAPHER "To Mrs John Truelson, as a token of friendship", albumen print PORTRAIT OF WATSON in military uniform (135 x 107mm.), 100 albumen prints (average 195 x 230mm., or the reverse, a few smaller), some oval shaped or with rounded corners, mounted on card, recto and verso, slightly later pencil list of the photographs tipped-in, contemporary black roan, sides with blindstamped decoration, flat spine, gilt edges, occasional staining and light scattered spotting, some cockling to mounts, spine slightly worn with small loss, binding rubbed
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Provenance: Mrs John Truelson, Ningpo; acquired by Edward C.M. Bowra (1841-1874) of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, Canton and Ningpo, or by his son C.A.V. Bowra (1869-1947) of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service; thence by descent to Brigadier E.V. Bowra OBE
Literature: Bennett, T. History of Photography in China. Western Photographers 1861-1879, (London: Quaritch, 2010), pp.150-152; H. van de Ven. Breaking with the Past. The Maritime Customs Service and the Global Origins of Modernity in China (New York, 2014), p.161 (note on the Bowra family). See also Bristol University's online Historical Photographs of China project.