Katya Knyazeva (avezink) wrote,
Katya Knyazeva

A 1928 Shanghai wedding party on film

A friend pointed out this wonderful video footage from 1928, which shows the wedding of Charlotte Berkin and William Simpson in Shanghai. We see the outside of the Trinity Cathedral, and then the garden party at the residence of their friends, Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Nash, at 63 Yu Yuen Road. The immediacy of the moving image combined with the detailed commentary in the press creates quite a magic immersion into old Shanghai!

The newlyweds are leaving the Trinity Cathedral:

Arriving at the Nash residence on Yu Yuen Road:

[See the rest of the stills...]

The house was in the semicircle of mansions, across the street from the Bubbling Well Fire Station, in the triangle outlined by modern Yuyuan, Yuyuan Zhi and Wulumuqi Roads. It has not survived:

Map: Virtual Shanghai.

The footage shows glimpses of this and the neighboring mansions, whose lawns are all on the southern side (marked "GROUND" on the map), divided by ivy-covered fences and hedges:

The photographer I think, she is the bride's mother) is busy manipulating the camera and arranging the shot. (I have a camera just like hers!)

And then you have to close the back... like so:

Here she is, adusting the participants:

Here the photographer is also posing in the picture. "The bride's mother wore a gown of mushroom-colored crepe de chine and lace and carried a bouquet of pink roses." If the footage could convey the "mushroom color," we'd know for sure.

"The bride looked very charming in a gown of white charmeuse and chiffon velvet, embroidered in crystal and pearl beads. She carried a large sheaf of white chrysanthemums and rose buds."

"Attending the bride were Miss Doris Baines and Miss Elsie Strehlneek, who wore period dresses of shaded corn and shaded green taffeta and silk net. They wore pearl head-dresses and carried posies of tea roses."

It is late October, so... furs:

"Masters Dick and Bob Berkin, brothers of the bride, acted as page boys." Thirteen years later, the smaller of the boys, Robert Irwin Berkin, a R.A.F. sergeant, and he would die while flying, at the age of 19.

Tags: 1920s, 1928, archive, british, footage, marriages, shanghai, video, visual history, wedding, yuyuan road

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