Katya Knyazeva (avezink) wrote,
Katya Knyazeva

Tracking Russian stores through windows and reflections

Although the majority of Russian businesses and residences were located in the French Concession, there was a number of them in other areas of Shanghai – in the business blocks near the Bund, along Bubbling Well Road, around the passenger terminal in Hongkou and in the Chinese-governed territories.

A sign for a Russian-run silk and textile store (L. Kosloff) is visible in this photo of American sailors posing on a rickshaw. The reflection of the very recognisable pattern along the facade of the Cathay Hotel helped locate this photo on the first block on Nanking Road, adjacent to the Palace Hotel:

Image by George Lacks (1945) from Google Arts & Culture.

Source of the map: http://www.virtualshanghai.net/GIS/Shanghai//

Listing from a 1941 Hong.

Here a passerby is studying a rather unusual display in the shop window. I suspected it belonged to the Russian-operated workshop that made prosthetic limbs, perhaps the only such facility in Shanghai, and the charaters on the side of the door confirmed my suspicion:

Image from the Collections of University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

This is the "orthopaedic institute for artificial limbs" operated by the Russian F. Kortus and his son Victor:

The building with Kosloff's store on Nanking Road has been replaced with a modern one, but the location of Kortus's store survives, although in a much altered state:

Here fashionable ladies are studying the goods in the virtine of Dookin's textile store on Avenue Joffre, already renamed Gujin 古今 and relocated from Estrella building one block to the west. The highly recognisable building across the road is the location of Grigorieff's store, next to the Cathay Cinema:

Photo by Jack Birns (1949) from Google Arts & Culture.

Gujin still occupies the same storefront today:

Here a model is peeking into the window of Grosvenor Gowns, located in the Grosvenor Gardens on Route Cardinal Mercier. Behind her is the bamboo fence of the French Club:

Photo by Jack Birns (1949) from Google Arts & Culture.

Grosvenor Gowns was owned by Madame Vanderhoof, who was not Russian (but what is the work of identifying is not sorting this out?). Russians, too, were among the owners of elite fashion stores in this retail strip, for example, the store of Anna Iskandrian that I already covered:

Image from the Collections of University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Here the vendors have set up their portable stall outside the barbershop called Moscow, or 华美理发店. The image captures a lot of identifying information: the street number (857) and even the B. C. Lot carved into the cornerstone at the lower left. It was easy to find it on Avenue Joffre. This location is now part of a merged Gujin storefront on Huaihai Road:

Photo by Jack Birns (1949) from Google Arts & Culture.

Tags: 1940s, international settlement, map, photo, russians, shanghai, then and now

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