China, Egypt, India, and Italy: 1930-1933. Album. This tooled leather album measures approximately 13” x 9” and contains over 200 corner-mounted photographs. The photos range in size from 2.25” x 3.25” to 5.25” x 3”. Many of the photos are captioned on the reverse and bear Preston Haines’ initials . The album, pages, and photographs are all in nice shape.
The album begins with approximately 30 images of Shanghai to include the famous international business community of the Bund (a mile-long stretch of waterfront along the Whangpoo (now Huangpu) River and the Shanghai American school (S.A.S.)l, where the family’s son was apparently enrolled.
There are many images of school life including the traditional Sophomore-Freshman mud fight and its Juno Trophy that was awarded to the winning class.
There are also camping photos of the “Panther Patrol,” apparently one patrol of a Boy Scout troop sponsored by the S.A.S.
Many students are identified.
There is one photo of Jack wearing the uniform of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps (the S.V.C was a multinational defense force established to protect the international community) “during the trouble in Shanghai 1932.”
(The Shanghai Trouble—also known as the First Shanghai Incident, the January 28th Incident, and the Shanghai War of 1932 was a three-month long battle within the International Community between Japanese and Chinese forces that took place after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria.)
A second section includes approximately 30 photographs of what appears to be a stay at the Preston’s vacation home in Pai Tai Ho (now Beidaihe), a beach resort not far from Beijing that is still popular today.
A number of the photos show the Preston’s staff (including a majordomo, roomboy, cook, and musician with a dizi, i.e. bamboo transverse flute.
Others show family members dining, hiking, relaxing on a beach, and climbing on the region’s rocks and mountains that overlook the sea.
A short third section with about a dozen photographs show a ship’s launch or gig traversing a harbor, shipboard posing ,sampans, a rickshaw, oxcart, a woman who appears to be making paper, and one of China’s infamous “baby towers” (this one at Cheefo) where dead babies disposed and unwanted babies (usually girls) were deposited and left to die.
The following section contains about 50 photographs of a visit to India with the women wearing white tropical dresses and the men dressed in tropical white suits, shorts, knee sox, and pith helmets. Images include a man with tongue and facial piercings, fishermen, beggars, elephants, monkeys, religious festivals, statues, the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodhgaya, monks, snake charmers, cobras and a mongoose, yogis, ruins, and shipboard swimming, croquet, and shuffleboard.
Over 60 photographs of Egypt follow showing pyramids, camel, oases, Khufu’s pyramids, the Sphinx, other monuments, museum, Cairo landmarks, street scenes, peddlers, craftsmen, mosques, and much, much more.
The album ends with more than 30 images of a smoking Mount Vesuvius and scenery and ruins in the surrounding area.. Very good. Item #009721
An exceptional visual record of a privileged life made possible by colonial imperialism. No doubt the better albums of it kind that we have ever handled.