Photo Album of China, ca. 1908
Appraised Value: $10,000 - $15,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 12
Appraisal Video: (3:09)
Lark Mason & Associates
GUEST: This album was my father's album that he made in China when he was 17 years old and he was in the British Army, the Scottish Regiment. He was in China from 1907 till 1909, in the Cameron Highlanders.
APPRAISER: The album itself is Japanese.
GUEST: It is? Okay.
APPRAISER: It is. And so we're going to open this up. And here we can see a photograph of...
GUEST: That is my father.
APPRAISER: Your dad.
GUEST: Yes, yes.
APPRAISER: And he is in Peking. It's a chronology of his stay in China.
APPRAISER: China during the late 19th century is a very turbulent place. We had an emperor that was installed in 1875, the Guangxu Emperor, who lived until 1908. And he was put in place by a woman known as the Dowager Empress Cixi, who was his aunt, who was very manipulative. And at the end of the 19th century, you also had an uprising. It was a reaction against a Western presence in China. And they wanted to push the foreign influences out and go back to the society that they believed existed at an earlier period of time. So in response to this turmoil, Western troops were sent to China, and your dad was one of the people that was sent there. So there are lots of other kinds of wonderful images here. Here is the Dowager Empress Cixi. So there's a mixture of photographs that are the candid shots that he took, but also ones that were purchased, very likely, from photographers that were in the city. It all combines to give a wonderful narrative of what was going on in China. And here we have the different troops that were there.
APPRAISER: And then there are some incredibly unusual and rare photographs that include the funeral procession of the Guangxu Emperor, who had been installed by his aunt. And there are other images of this funeral procession, which are candid shots taken by your dad. There's a lot of photos, it tells a story, it's connected to you, it's well-organized, and there's these unusual candid shots that are incorporated throughout. Now I'm going to close this again, because you had some questions. You wanted to know what that was.
GUEST: I wanted to know if this is the signature of the artist.
APPRAISER: It is not the signature of the artist. It is a flaming pearl, of which the flaming pearl of immortality, and the dragon is in pursuit of that.
GUEST: I see, okay.
APPRAISER: As it always is. Do you have any idea what it's worth?
GUEST: I was thinking about $5,000.
APPRAISER: I think it's about double that. I would say more likely $10,000 to $15,000 would be an auction estimate.
GUEST: That's pretty good, yeah. Well, thank you.
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