B/w, various dimensions (64: 12 x 17 cm, 27: 11 x 8,5 cm and 1: 21 x 29 cm) + 1 copy of a photo, stuck on cardboard, each captioned in French.
Album 4to oblong, bevelled wooden boards painted in black imitating Japanese lacquered woods, front board painted with Japanese landscape and 2 characters whose hands and faces are made of bone/ivory ?, paper guards jaspered imitating micaceous paper, mounted on guards (back and 3 bone/ivory hands lacking, damaged edges and lower board with lack of paint, chips, etc.).
Souvenir album, probably put together by a Belgian "agent du chemin de fer à Hankow" (i.e. railway agent in Hankou), who came to China for the construction of a railway in the province of Hubei. At the beginning of the 20th c., the Belgians were among the best in this field, the construction of railways in the Congo had given them expertise and the industrial expansion policy of Leopold II allowed them to negotiate with the Celestial Empire and France to achieve the concession of the railway from Beijing to Hankou in 1898, then those from Guangzhou-Hankou and Kaifeng to Henan, in collaboration with French capital.
Contents. Hanyang (11 photos): the house of the writer "Ly Wang Shu" (2), Turtle Mountain (3), metallurgical factories (2), railway depot (1), pagoda entrance (1), house of llamas (2)...-- Hankou, a city at the confluence of the Yangtze and the Han River (18): European houses (3), cemetery (1), funeral mountain (1), burial place (1), "indigenous [i.e. Chinese] district" along the Han River (4), quays with European concessions (1), floods due to the flooding of the Han River (6), river station (1).-- Wuchan (5): pagodas and temples (3), hunting and picnic area (2).-- Kaifeng, in Henan (5): imperial palace, city and city entrance.-- Beijing (12): procession for the funeral of the Guangxu Emperor (3 + 1 copy of a photo of Empress Cixi, who died 2 days after Guangxu), miscellaneous (8: train station, gates, temples and pagodas, Summer Palace).-- Miscellaneous: railway (3: car, passengers boarding, large picture of a locomotive with Chinese employees), street scenes (4: a cobbler, open-air restaurant, bakers), and pagodas, houses, doors/ gates of houses or towns, views of the Belgian delegation in Beijing and Hankou, Nankou pass (3: i.e. in the mountains overlooking Beijing, used by the railway), Great Wall "in Mongolia" (2), etc.
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