September 3rd, 2018


Ethnographer's plight (1874)

Although the memoir of Pavel Piasetski that describes his visit to China in 1874–1875 has been translated into English, the translation omits large parts of the text. Here is a passage from the original Russian version which the author complains that although the ethnographic team was assigned a photographic camera for the trip, he never got to use it because "for some people public property is the same as their own." So in the absence of a camera Piasetski makes sure to purchase views of Shanghai from the Saunders' photo studio, "the only one in town."

My earlier post about Piasetski's visit to Shanghai is here.

Top image: William Saunders' photograph of the Old West Gate.