Photos and Postcards
Official photo album of the Rome-Tokyo flight of 1920 by Tenente A. Ferrarin. This album covers the stopover in Shanghai and is loaded with numerous news articles and letters regarding the flight but more so the attempt by Italian G. A. Bena to hold an international exhibition in Shanghai. Interesting views expressed concerning the need to increase Western understanding of the East, and the reationale for a fair in Shanghai. 9 photos, 3 letters (2 by Bena and 1 by G.C. Howard, US Trade Commissioner), 2 news articles and a membership card in the Reale Unione Nationale Aeronautica of Italian pilot Michelangelo Verrelli, who may have owned the album. Rare. N
Official photo album of the Italian Expedition to China. The title reads: “In memory of the four years I spent in China with the greatest affection. Official album of the 1st Infantry Regiment”. The photographers name, Costantino Brighenti, is inscribed on the cover. The album contains an astounding 450 photos. The photographer was something of an artist judging by the way the photos are presented. A number of photos contain captions. The album has a sizeable quantity of photos showing many aspects of local life and the intercourse between Chinese and Italians. Many photo albums of this period focus on buildings or topography or European military but this focus is more on the Chinese. Samples of photos include Tientsin, Chinese troops boarding for Manchuria, wealthy and poor Chinese, Italian and Chinese officials together, Italian military life, local mandarins with Italians, Chinese transporting people and goods, Chinese military with flags, early trams, trains arriving to Peking and Tientsin, European and Chinese shops, women standing with deformed feet, Korean and Japanese people, Chinese dead on the field, streets in Peking, tartar city, Chinese imperial procession, Japanese/Russian/French/German/Italian troops, Chinese gendarmes, German artillery, funeral procession, and more. A rare find. N
Note: Costantino Brighenti was born November 20, 1865. He entered the military and achieved the rank of Lieutenant on November 10, 1888, with the 30th Infantry Regiment in Pisa. Serving in Eritrea he received a Citation for his performance in the retreat from Adowa. In 1901 he was part of the China Expeditionary Force during the Boxer Rebellion. He served with the 1st Regiment as Captain and received the Knights Cross for his services there. On November 2, 1906 he was sent back to Eritrea as commander of the 3rd Company 4th Battalion Indigenous. By 1913 he was in Libya, receiving a Bronze Medal for military valor at Gebel. He was the garrison commander at Beni Walid when it came under siege from May 6 to July 8, 1915. In the end he surrendered and spent a year in prison and finally committed suicide. For gallantry he received the Gold Medal for Military Valour.
His wife, Maria Boni Brighenti also received the Gold Medal for Military Valour for her performance in caring for the wouned despite being wounded herself, during the evacuation of the garrison at Tharuna. She is the only woman to ever receive the Gold Medal for Military Valour…….and, together with her husband, the only couple ever to both receive the medal. See also; http://www.cimeetrincee.it/LeMedagliedoroitalianedellaGrandeGuerra/imbrighenticostantino.html The Brighentis are referenced in Soldiers of Africa, Volume III, page 38 as well as Volume II, Italian Values, pages 362-364. See also http://www.pietrigrandeguerra.it/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Cenni-Storici-Boni-Brighenti-Maria.pdf
Photo album of China and Japan, around the time of the First Sino-Japanese War, ending in 1895. Shown are life in China, churches, Manchu troops on horseback, Chinese sentry, Chinese market, Japanese soldiers and dignitaries, Japanese tennis club, many individual portraits. No captions. A rare find spanning both China and Japan. 107 photos, none missing. Boards are separating
Photo album from Blanche Potter (1864-1942, the daughter of famed New York Congressman and author of the National Banking Act, Orlando Potter (1823-1894). After her father died she inherited a large fortune and she spent most of her time travelling. This photo album is numbered 43. It is professionally laid out, dated and well captioned. Her trip starts out in Mandalay, Burma. Photos from the MacGregor timber yard, the Shwe Dagon pagoda in Mrauk U, Rangoon, Penang, street scenes in Singapore, towns in Indonesia, Jakarta, Bromo volcano, Batavia, Sourabaya, Pourabaya, Hong Kong, street scenes of Canton, nice wide-angled lens view of Canton, Pearl River, different temples in Canton, different photos of Macao (including ‘making American firecrackers Macao’), interesting views of Kowloon, waiting in quarantine in Nagasaki Harbor, she visits an Export Exposition Fair in Kobe, nice wide-angled view of temple grounds in Osaka. 160 photos in all, from a high quality camera. N
A series of 17 rare postcards showing members of the Paiwan tribe from Taiwan, who poplulated the Formosan Hamlet Sideshow as part of the 1910 Japan-British Exhibition in London. In some of the postcards the tower from the Irish village in the earlier Franco-British Exhibition of 1908 can be seen in the background. The name of each person is shown on each postcard. N
Note: The Japan-British Exhibition was held at the White City, Shepherd’s Bush, London from May 14-October 29, 1910. This exhibition was held 15 years after Japan’s acquisition of Taiwan as her first colony, and it was a great opportunity for Japan to show her successful management of Taiwan to the world. In this event, while Japanese industries and cultures were widely introduced, the ‘Formosan Hamlet’ was reconstructed and some Taiwanese aborigines showed their life, performed their war dance and mimicked battles in front of visitors.
On February 21, 1910, Oshima, Civil Administrative General of the Governor General of Taiwan signed a contract to make 24 Taiwan aboriginal people from some villages participate in the Japan-British Exhibition. On the same day, two Japanese policemen named Ishikawa and Itakura took these 24 people from Koshun, which is the present area of Pingtung County, to Moji in Fukuoka Prefecture of Kyushu by ship. On February 26, 1910, they left Moji for London. The Taiwanese aboriginal participants were, strictly speaking, from the Paiwan tribe. The Formosan Hamlet had 12 Paiwan houses, two of which were actually erected by the Paiwan people. They lived in those reconstructed houses with their traditional items such as spears and swords during their stay in London.
In 1912, a British man named William Pierce visited and stayed in some aboriginal villages of Ako, Taitou and Karen-Ko. When Pierce came to Ako, which is the present area of Pingtung, the Paiwan particpants visited the local police station of Koshifutsu and offered to welcome Price in return form the British people’s hospitality and kindness during their stay in London. They invited him to an office room of the local police station and had a dinner party for him. There, a Paiwan man name Teipo Salongai made a welcome speech.
Archive of three photo albums from a marine with the Italian Battalion, based in Tientsin, China in 1927-1928. The Battalion was composed of three companies: the San Marco, the Libya and the San George.
In one photo the owner of the album is marked with an ‘x’. He is with the San Marco Company. This is excellent account of both local and colonial military life and an account of the Italan Battalion in Shanghai and Tientsin at the peak of civil disorder.
Numerous photos of Chinese executions, nationalist soldiers, American and British troops, Italian military and Chinese military and civilians mixing, Chinese festive parade of some sort (possibly the visit of ex-Emperor Pu-Yi to the barracks on April 28, 1928), newly created " Ermanno Carlotto " barracks, numerous photos of local inhabitants, train station at Feng Tai, Italian Consulate, large photos of services in the heart of Tientsin commemorating the end of World War 1, sports at the barracks, French barracks (Caserne Voyron established in 1901), various Chinese warlords, train wrecks, rare photo of armoured train carrying Chinese troops at Hsinho station,Chinese troops fighting in the field, numerous photos of different Chinese military, extremely rare photo of military biplanes being transported by rail, aftermath of attack on a train during the civil disorder, Italian troops being transported by train, Italian marines defending a bridge, numerous photos of the European quarter of Tientsin, rare photo of Chinese furniture store showing European adverts,Chinese puppet theatre, making a coffin, gymnastics at the barracks, soccer, train flying the Japanese, Italian and American flags; mutiliations, military drill, Italian police station,Chinese parade passing in front of a silk weaving factory built in 1919, the cricket club, street life, numerous monuments, rare phot of entrance to Italian barracks with fascist symbol over entrance, marines on excursion to the Forbidden City, river port for the Hamburg-Amerika Line, Chinese Nationalist soldiers on the march, Italian machine gun unit, marines at Shan Hai Kuan (another foreign port), civilizians demonstrating holding Nationalist flags, coolies carrying European goods,
It contains a hand drawn image of two Italian marines on the first page. At the end is a three page handwritten story of his voyage to Tientsin and dated May 25, 1927, along with his signature. Another album is unbound. The third is bound. There are also four loose photos, all with writing and dated on back, from Shanghai and Tientsin. In excess of 810 photos in total. Much of the history of the Italian Brigade, as highlighted in the notes below, is shown in this archive. Also included is a complete 1939 issue of La Tribuna Illustrata featuring the San Marco battalion rescuing local inhabitants during a Japanese air raid.
Price for the archive of three ablums is $4500
Note: Following the Boxer Rebellion, Italy along with ten other nations, were allowed to keep legations in China and occupied Kuan-tsung, Lan-fang, Yang-tsun, Tientsin, Kiun-lang-Chang, Tangku, Lu-tai, Tangcian, Luanciao, Cian-li, Chi-Kuan-tao and Shanhaikuan. Italy maintained troops in North China until 1904, which were then replaced by roughly 250 sailors from the Royal Marines. On November 4, 1924 a company of marines under the command of Lieutenant Ruggero Poli, landed from RN "Libya".
This was followed by another group under the command of Commander Angelo Jachino. Shortly thereafter, Mussolini approved the establishment of a battalion in China based at Tientsin. The battalion contained three companies with a total of 300 men, 20 machine guns and several mortars.
The duties of the Italian Battalion were to maintain communications between Beijing and the sea; to protect the lives and property of Italians and foreigners in times of civil disorder and act as a covering force for the landing of reinforcements that might be called upon.
The Battalion was officially constituted in Tientsin on March 5, 1925. The companies that formed the Battalion were the " San Marco, "Libya, " and " San George ". Company San Marco was placed in the premises of the Italian Police in Tientsin; Company Libya , in mid-Shan Hai Kuan and in Beijing; Company San George in Beijing on the premises of the Legation Guard. Construction began of the Barracks "Ermanno Carlotto" to house the new Battalion.
Company Libya was moved to Tientsin in November, 1925, due to the severe local situation created by the war between Li-Chin-Lin and Feng-Yu-Hsian and later sent to protect the railway bridges from Tangku to Loutai. The San Marco at the same time was assigned to the defense of the Italian Concession. For the worsening situation, the San George was ordered to leave Beijing and go to Tientsin.
The Company departed on December 10, 1925, but the train that carried her to Tientsin stopped at Lang-Fang due to the failure of some bridges that took place between the two lines of the belligerents and was forced to return to Beijing and was unable to reach Tientsin until the 25th.
The Barracks "Ermanno Carlotto" was inaugurated in April 1926 by the Minister of Italy in Beijing. In early 1927, due to the difficult situation that had arisen in Shanghai from the fighting between the warring factions, the Battalion was reinforced in order to prepare for the defense of the the foreign settlement in Shanghai. During this period the San Marco was moved to Shanghai temporarily.
On Novermber 6, on the anniversary of World War 1, the Captain of the Battalion, L. Gasparri, presented the Brigade with a penant. On April 18, 1928 the Battalion received a visit, unofficially, from the young ex-emperor of China, Pu Yi, who lived in Tientsin. For the occasion, the whole battalion paraded. On special occassions, for the benefit of the foreign colony and authorities, the Brigade would give a gymnastic performance at the barracks.
In May 1928 the theater of war reached the area of Beijing and Tientsin and the situation became serious. On June 3, the Battalion went on alert, occupied the former Austrian concession and sent a detachment to secure the power station. Later they sent a detachment to the Central Railway Station, but given its exposed location, was evacuated after a few days.
At the same time a Company was held ready to leave for Tangku to secure communications stations in the section assigned to the Italian forces. The situation worsened when General-Tso-lin Chan, Chief of the Northern troops, left Beijing on June 3 and the following day a bomb placed under a bridge near the railway station at Mukden, was detonated and the General died a few days later.
On June 12, the Confederate flag was raised in Tientsin, and the situation calmed down quickly and on June 19 the Battalion was ordered to stand down. Toward the end of September, after nearly four years of active service, the "Libya" was dissolved and its elements became part of other companies.
Two photo albums from an Italian sailor in China, 1929. The journey starts from Brindisi aboard ' RM Libya' an Italian cruiser, on March 28, 1929. Passes Port Said and stops briefly at Massua and then landing at Shanghai.
An impressive array of foreign naval ships, including a British aircraft carrier, the sinking of a Chinese merchant ship (See further explanation below), anti-aircraft shooting practice. Photo of Captain Pini, captain of the Libia from 1929-1930. Many photos of Shanghai showing life in the Chinese quarter and also the Japanese quarter. Trucks in the hinterland, transporting Chinese carts by water. Military celebration of the ending of WW1. Visit to Nanking.
Interesting photo of the Grotto of Saint Mary in Shanghai. Military exercises on land. Visit to Japan: Osaka, Kobe, Yokahama, Nagasaki, Tokyo and then to Hong Kong and then back to Shanghai, children marching holding nationalist flags, decapitated man in street with caption ‘martial law’, Shanghai barber, market, nice photo collection of the different foreign legations at Shanghai.
Photos of Wei-Hai-Wei also showing the Christian cemetery there and an English naval funeral. Photos of Peking. Rare photo of the San Marco Battalion at their base in Tiensin and also receiving Mass. Nationalist soldiers marching at Tangshan, large number of people killed left on the ground, Russian orthodox church, photo of personnel from different legations, a British home in the countryside outside Hankow. Rare photos of a Chinese battalion undergoing military exercises as well as Japanese naval personnel undergoing military exercises on land, also the American military doing same, rare photo of tanks and a Chinese military band. Group photo of senior foreign military and what appears to be ex-Emperor Pu-Yi (who visited the Italian barracks in Tientsin on April 28, 1928)
This collection is a treasure to anyone studying the foreign military presence in China in 1929, especially the Italian Navy. The period is interesting because it was during the Sino-Soviet Conflict and the Great Famine. Over 520 photos in total, many of which contain descriptions.
Note: The cruiser Libia was built at the Ansaldo shipyard in Genoa, beginning in 1911 and its original name was to be ‘’Drama’’ and was built for the Turkish navy. However, with the Italo-Turkish War (in Libya), the cruiser was instead built for the Italian navy.
It was completed in 1913 as designed, and named "Libia". It was a protected cruiser, fairly fast and well armed, but lacking armor in order to precede a formation of battleships by identifying and eliminating the threat of any torpedoes or torpedo boats. Libia had limited use during World War and in 1917 was stationed in Greece and then in Albanian waters until the end of the war. After the war she circumnavigated the earth, under Commander Burzagli), starting March 10, 1921 from Naples to Taranto and returning February 20, 1923. She reached Cuba, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Peru, and San Diego, San Francisco, Pearl Harbor, Sydney and Melbourne, arriving in Shanghai May 19, 1922.
In total she stopped at 59 ports and travelled 44,200 miles. During the tour, Libia remained in China about six months, with various shifts according to the security needs of Italians living in China. Libia was sent to the Far East in 1924 (with Captain Moreno) to replace the Calabria in the Far East Squadron. Libia’s home station in the Far East was Shanghai, is moving north into the Gulf of Taku, reached other ports to Japan, and went as far south as Hong Kong. In May 1925 she sailed up the Yang-tze-kiang to Hankow up.
In 1929, moving to assist the crew of the freighter Muggia (shipwrecked on rocks), the Libia suffered a collision with a Chinese freighter that sank, Libia’s sailors rescueing several Chinese survivors. In 1931 she went back again the Yangtze-kiang and the following year went to Japan. Libia was commanded, in turn, by captains Alessio (1925), Miraglia (1927), Pini (1929) and Bacci (1932). The Libia, became famous among Italian communities living abroad. She spent her last years based in China until she was decommissioned in 1933. For nearly a decade the Royal Italian Navy had a continuous presence in China and Japan
Interesting photo album of China in 1904 by a sailor aboard the HMS King Alfred. Rare photo of British and Chinese soccer teams, opium dens, steet procession, Chinese wedding, Shanghai, British naval guns at Hong Kong. 34 photos, along with some news articles in English and in Chinese, and a business card for a Hong Kong washerwoman
Photo collection of the British army in Shanghai, 1927-1928. Several people mentioned by name. Photos of a rugby match between a Welsh Regiment and the Coldstream Guards. Barracks life of the 8th platoon of the Coldstream Guards, photographed with a Chinese marine. 14 photos, all described on back. N