Sold for £48,000
Thomson (John). Views on the North River, 1st edition, Hongkong: Noronha & Sons, Printers, 1870, printed title and two leaves of Introduction, printed to rectos only, 14 mounted albumen prints, each with printed red rule border and caption beneath, accompanying leaf of descriptive letterpress to each plate, some fading to images and one spotted, mounts with old damp staining to inner and outer margins, ownership name inscriptions of G. Dods, 1875, and W.K. Dods and C.M. Normand to front free endpaper, stitching now largely broken and contents generally loose in original cloth-backed printed boards with decorative design to upper and lower covers, rubbed and soiled, a little paper surface loss, oblong folio (32.5 x 43 cm)
The photographs are captioned and measure as follows:
1) Road to the Village of Wong Tong, 173 x 232mm; 2) The Ts'ing Yune Pagoda, 154 x 232mm; 3) The Fi-Lai-Sz Monastery, 179 x 237mm; 4) The Fi-Lai-Sz Monastery, 152 x 236mm; 5) In the Ts'ing Yune Pass, 159 x 236mm; 6) View from the 'Lien Chow Kwong' Villages, 140 x 238mm; 7) An Up-Country Bridge, 178 x 232mm; 8) The Mang-Tsz Pass, 158 x 237mm; 9) Rapids, 161 x 232mm; 10) Looking North from the Pau-Lo-Hang Temple, 168 x 240mm; 11) Kwan Yin Cave, 160 x 219mm; 12) Fishing Boats, 158 x 228mm; 13) View from the Kwan Yin Cave, 143 x 226mm; 14) An Up-Country Farm, 138 x 238mm.
Provenance: George Dods (1836-1909) MD LRCS Ed. 1859, was born and died in Edinburgh. He worked as Acting Colonial Surgeon in Hong Kong. He wrote at least one medical paper, ‘Tropical Malaria and Its Sequelae’, published in Transactions of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Edinburgh, 1888, 7: 186-198. His only son, William Kane Dods, was born in Hong Kong Kong in 1866, shortly after his marriage to Margaret Crabbe. William Kane Dods (1866-1948) worked as an agent for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and served as treasurer and honorary secretary of the Asiatic Society of Bengal and on the Committee of the Zoological Gardens, Calcutta. The co-owner of the book was Charles M. Normand (?1834-1912), a direct contemporary of Dods senior, who also served in the Far East as an assistant surgeon. By family descent. See also following lots 39-43.
A very good copy of this notorious rarity, here in the original printed covers and with family provenance dating back to within five years of publication. It was the first of Thomson’s photographically illustrated books on China, and describes a trip two hundred miles up the North, though the photographs focus on only a few places, for which Thomson gives Chinese characters and English spellings. Like his earlier work, Visit of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh … to Hong Kong in 1869, the first photographically-illustrated book published in China, it was published in Hong Kong by the Portuguese printers Noronha and Sons (The Government Printers).
’Mr. Thomson has just published a volume of admirable photographs of scenes on the North River, entered about 40 miles above Canton through the Fatshan creek. The views, which are beautifully executed, are accompanied by a short description of the places which they respectively represent, and will thus form a most pleasing illustration of a part of China little known to the generality of Europeans. In the details of foliage and other foreground these photographs will compare favourably with the best works at home, though they fail somewhat in a distant effects by being too dark in tone, a circumstance to which Mr. Thomson alludes in the introduction, where he states that, with a few exceptions, his efforts to obtain bright photographs of distant objects were baffled by a continuance of bad weather, casting a veil of mist over the distance. Bearing this in mind, the results must be considered wonderfully successful, and the views will be no less acceptable as an interesting memento for residents in China to take home with them, or as a pleasing gift to send to their friends’, Hong Kong Daily Press, 31 October 1870.
‘Views on the North River would have been expensive to produce and the print run was probably small. It is the rarest of Thomson’s books on China. There is a copy in the National Library of Scotland, another in Hong Kong University Library; a third is in the Wason Collection at Cornell University (NUC, vol. 592, p. 256). In 1980 one was recorded in the collection of Mr and Mrs Lewis Lehr, New York (Lucien Goldschmidt and Weston J. Naef, The Truthful Lens, 1980, p. 167, fig. 157 and pp. 224-5)’, Terry Bennett, History of Photography in China: Western Photographers 1861-1879, Quaritch, 2010, p. 227.
‘Views on the North River… can be seen as the first attempt to present Thomson’s experience of China as a visual document. The book form is being used to recreate the experience of seeing his images in a sequence predetermined by the photographer, and to that extent he was able to retain control over the order and arrangement in which his own photographs were presented ... Yet despite the success of Views on the North River as a photographically illustrated book, its circulation among the western, English-speaking communities of Hong Kong and the Treaty ports was somewhat limited, and its impact in Britain, if it had any at all, has left no trace in the contemporary reviewing journals’, Richard Ovenden, John Thomson 1837-1921 (Photographer), National Library of Scotland, 1997, pp. 178-9.
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Auction: 19th & 20th Century Photography, John Thomson, China & Hong Kong, Photobooks, Cameras & Accessories, Thu, 3rd Oct 2019
To see a page turning version of our catalogue, please see the Virtual Catalogue.
Tuesday 1 October 2019 from 9.00am to 6.00pm, Wednesday 2 October 2019 from 9.00am to 6.00pm and on the day of the sale from 9.00am onward.
Dominic Winter (Auctioneers) Ltd
Conditions Of Sale And Business
Terms and Conditions of Sale
1. (a) Dominic Winter (Auctioneers) Ltd ("the Auctioneer") sells as agents for the seller (except where otherwise stated) and as such is not responsible for any default by buyer or seller.
(b) The Seller warrants to the Auctioneer and to the buyer that he is the true owner or is properly authorised to sell the property by the true owner and is able to transfer good and marketable title to the property free from any third party claims.
2. (a) The highest bidder to be the buyer. If during the auction the Auctioneer considers that a dispute has arisen he has absolute authority to settle it or to re-offer the lot. The auctioneer may at his sole discretion determine the advance of bidding or refuse a bid, divide any lot, combine any two or more lots or withdraw any lot without prior notice.
(b) Where goods are bought at auction by a buyer who has entered into an agreement with another or others that the other or others (or some of them) shall abstain from bidding for the goods and the buyer or other party or one of the other parties is a dealer as defined in the Auctions (Bidding Agreements) Act 1927 and 1969 the buyer warrants that the goods are bought bona fide on a joint account.
3. The buyer shall pay the price at which a lot is knocked down by the Auctioneer to the buyer ("the hammer price") together with a premium of 20% except those lots asterisked (*) in the title, in which case the buyer's premium is 24% inclusive of VAT. By making any bid the buyer acknowledges that his/her attention has been drawn to the fact that on the sale of any lot the Auctioneer will receive from the seller commission at its usual rates in addition to the said premium and assents to the Auctioneer receiving the said Commission.
4. (a) The buyer shall forthwith upon the purchase give his name and permanent address together with proof of identity and pay the Auctioneer immediately after the conclusion of the auction the total sum due.
(b) The buyer may be required to pay down during the course of the sale the whole or any part of the total sum due, and if he fails to do so after such request the lot or lots may at the Auctioneer's absolute discretion be put up again and resold immediately.
(c) The buyer shall at his own expense take away any lot or lots purchased no later than five working days after the auction day.
(d) The Auctioneer may at his discretion agree credit terms with a buyer and extend the time limits for collection in special cases but otherwise payment shall be deemed to have been made only after the Auctioneer has received cash or funds by bank transfer or a sterling banker's draft or the buyer's cheque or debit/credit card payment has been cleared.
(e) All sums due to the Auctioneer shall be paid as shown and he reserves the right to charge interest which shall accrue at the rate of 4% over such base lending rate of National Westminster Bank Plc as shall be in force at the date that interest becomes due, such sum to be calculated per annum from day to day on all amounts due but unpaid. This right shall be exercisable without prejudice to any other right of the Auctioneer.
5. (a) If the buyer fails to pay for or take away any lots pursuant to clause 4 or breaches any other condition of that clause the Auctioneer as agent for the seller shall be entitled after consultation with the seller to exercise one or other of the following rights:
(i) Rescind the sale of that or any other lots sold to the buyer who defaults and re-sell the lot or lots whereupon the defaulting buyer shall pay to the Auctioneer any shortfall between the proceeds of that sale after deduction of costs or re-sale and the total sum due. Any surplus shall belong to the seller.
(ii) Proceed for damages for breach of contract.
(b) Without prejudice to the Auctioneer's rights hereunder if any lot or lots are not collected within five days or such longer period as the Auctioneer may have agreed otherwise, the Auctioneer may charge the buyer a storage charge up to £1.00 per lot per day.
6. (a) The seller shall be entitled to place a reserve on any lot and the Auctioneer shall have the right to bid on behalf of the seller for any lot on which a reserve has been placed. A seller may not bid on any lot on which he has placed a reserve.
(b) Where any lot fails to sell, the Auctioneer shall notify the seller accordingly. The seller shall make arrangements either to re-offer the lot for sale or to collect the lot and may be asked to pay a commission not exceeding 50% of the selling commission and any special expenses incurred in cataloguing the lot.
(c) If such arrangements are not made within seven days of the notification the Auctioneer is empowered to sell the lot without reserve by auction or by private treaty and to receive from the seller the normal selling commission and special expenses.
7. Any representation or statement by the Auctioneer in any catalogue, brochure or advertisement of forthcoming sales as to authorship, attribution, genuineness, origin, date, age, provenance, condition or estimated selling price is a statement of opinion only. Every person interested should exercise and rely on his own judgement as to such matters and neither the Auctioneer nor his servants or agents are responsible for the correctness of such opinions. No warranty whatsoever is given by the Auctioneer or the seller in respect of any lot and any express or implied warranties are hereby excluded.
8. (a) Notwithstanding any other terms of these conditions, if within fourteen days of the sale the Auctioneer has received from the buyer of any lot notice in writing that in his/her view the lot is a deliberate forgery and within fourteen days after such notification the buyer returns the same to the Auctioneer in the same condition as at the time of the sale and satisfies the Auctioneer that considered in the light of the entry in the catalogue the lot is a deliberate forgery then the sale of the lot will be rescinded and the purchase price of the same refunded. "A deliberate forgery" means a lot made with intention to deceive.
(b) A buyer's claim under this condition shall be limited to any amount paid to the Auctioneer for the lot and for the purpose of this condition the buyer shall be the person to whom the original invoice was made out by the Auctioneer.
9. Lots may be removed during the sale after full settlement in accordance with 4.d. hereof.
10. All goods delivered to the Auctioneer's premises will be deemed to be delivered for sale by auction unless otherwise stated in writing and will be catalogued and sold at the Auctioneer's discretion and accepted by the Auctioneer subject to all these conditions. In the case of miscellaneous books, maps and other items, the Auctioneer reserves the right to extract and dispose of items that, in the opinion of the Auctioneer at his absolute discretion, have no saleable value and, therefore, might detract from the saleability of the rest of the lot and the Auctioneer shall incur no liability to the seller in respect of the items disposed of. By delivering the goods to the auctioneer for inclusion in his auction sales each seller acknowledges that he/she accepts and agrees to all the conditions.
11. (a) Unless otherwise instructed in writing, all goods on the Auctioneer's premises and in his custody will be held insured against the risk of fire, burglary, water damage and accidental breakage or damage. The value of the goods so covered will be the hammer price, or in the case of unsold lots the lower estimate, or in the case of loss or damage prior to the sale that which the specialist staff of the Auctioneer shall in their absolute discretion estimate to be the auction value of such goods.
(b) The Auctioneer shall not be responsible for damage to or the loss, theft, or destruction of any goods not so insured because of the seller's written instructions whether caused by negligence or otherwise.
(c) Any liability of the Auctioneer for any claim arising from loss or damage of any kind in respect of goods whether caused by negligence or otherwise including any claims for compensation will be limited to the amount of insurance cover effected in accordance with the provisions of clause 11.a. above.
12. The Auctioneer shall remit the proceeds of the sale to the seller thirty days after the date of the auction provided that the Auctioneer has received the total sum due from the buyer. In all other cases the Auctioneer will remit the proceeds of the sale to the seller within seven days of the receipt by the Auctioneer of the total sum due. The Auctioneer will not be deemed to have received the total sum due until after any funds received from the buyer have cleared. In the event of the Auctioneer exercising his right to rescind the sale his obligation to the seller hereunder lapses.
13. In the case of the seller withdrawing instructions to the Auctioneer to sell any lot or lots, the Auctioneer may charge the seller a fee of 12.5% of the Auctioneer's middle estimate of the auction price of the lot withdrawn together with Value Added Tax thereon and any expenses incurred in respect of the lot or lots.
14. If, on collation, any named items in the catalogue prove defective, in text or illustration, the buyer may reject the lot provided he/she returns it within fourteen days stating the defect in writing. This however will not apply in the case of unnamed items, periodicals, autograph letters, manuscripts, music, maps, atlases, prints or drawings, nor in respect of damage to bindings, stains, foxing, marginal wormholes or other defects not affecting the completeness of the text, nor in respect of lack of list of plates, inserted advertisements, cancels or subsequently published volumes, supplements, appendices or plates or error in the enumerating of the plates, nor in respect of defects mentioned in the catalogue or announced at the time of sale.
15. The Auctioneer accepts no responsibility in connection with the commissioning of his staff to bid for any lots. Reserves, and commission bids given by telephone are accepted only at the sender's risk and must be confirmed in writing before the date of the sale. Lots will always be bought as cheaply as is allowed by other bids and such reserves as are on our books.
16. Buyers are advised that a storage charge of £1.00 per lot per day plus Value Added Tax at the current rate will be levied on all purchases not cleared within fourteen working days of the sale. After this period the buyer will be responsible for loss or damage.
17. Artist's Resale Rights ("Droit de Suite"). Lots marked with "AR" or another appropriate symbol and referenced as such in the catalogue are subject to the Artist's Resale Right law. The buyer agrees to pay the Auctioneer an amount equal to the resale royalty and the Auctioneer will pay such amount to the artist's collecting agent. Resale royalty applies where the Hammer Price is 1,000 Euro or more and the amount cannot be more than 12,500 Euro per lot.
The amount is calculated as follows:
Royalty For the portion of the Hammer Price (in Euro)
4.00% up to 50,000
3.00% between 50,000.01 and 200,000
1.00% between 200,000.01 and 350,000
0.50% between 350,000.01 and 500,000
0.25% in excess of 500,000
Invoices will be issued in Pounds Sterling. For the purposes of calculating the resale royalty the Pounds Sterling/Euro rate of exchange will be the European Central Bank reference rate on the day of the sale. Please refer to the DACS website www.dacs.org.uk for further details.
18. These conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English Law.
Buyer's Premium :
The buyer's premium is 20%, except those lots asterisked (*) in the title for which Value Added Tax (VAT) will be added to the premium, resulting in a buyer's premium of 24% inclusive of VAT. Eligible items include manuscripts, prints, photographs, drawings, framed maps, paintings, pens and other objects which are subject to VAT at a rate of 20% on the buyer's premium as part of the Auctioneers Margin Scheme. VAT zero-rated items such as books, unframed maps and albums are not subject to VAT on the buyer's premium.
Live Auction Charges
An additional commission of 3% plus VAT (3.6% inclusive of VAT) on the hammer price is payable if you use the live auction bidding facility on the Dominic Winter Auctioneers website (dominicwinter.co.uk). This charge will be added to your invoice automatically.
An additional commission of 4.95% plus VAT (5.94% inclusive of VAT) on the hammer price is payable if you use the live auction bidding facility on the ATG Media website (the-saleroom.com). This charge will be added to your invoice automatically.
An additional commission of 3% plus VAT (3.6% inclusive of VAT) on the hammer is payable if you use the live auction bidding facility on the Invaluable website (invaluable.com). This charge will be added to your invoice automatically.
Payment (UK Buyers)
Payment is preferred by direct Bank Transfer to our bank account. Our bank details will be supplied to you with your invoice.
Payment can be made in cash at the Cashier's Office, either during or after the sale. Alternatively, you can pay by cheque (Pounds Sterling only), please allow 5 working days for the cheque to clear before collection of goods.
Credit or Debit Card payments will not be accepted by telephone unless by prior arrangement with the auctioneers. Card payments can be made in person at our premises but must be accompanied by relevant ID confirming address details. We do not accept payments by American Express.
Payment (Overseas Buyers)
Payment must be made by direct Bank Transfer to our bank account. Our bank details will be supplied to you on your invoice. No card payments will be accepted unless by special prior arrangements with the auctioneers. All transfers must state the relevant invoice number. The amount we receive must be the total due after currency conversion and the deduction of any bank charges (normally £7).
We are not specialist shippers. Some items, such as framed & glazed or fragile goods, will require specialist handling and buyers will be asked to use Mailboxes or RF Shipping Ltd. (details below).
For non-fragile items and items of reasonably small size, we offer an in-house packing and shipping facility for UK buyers. When possible, purchases will be sent by either Royal Mail Special Delivery or DPD overnight service. The charge for this service is variable (£15 minimum per parcel) and will be added to your invoice. Please note shipments to the Highlands and Islands may require shipment by courier and may be more expensive. Please contact us for a quote before bidding.
For larger packages and fragile goods, we recommend Mailboxes, Pack & Send or RF Shipping Ltd who will collect fully paid-for purchases from us twice a week and liaise with the buyer direct. For more information please contact Sarah Ball by telephone on +44 (0)1285 860006 or email email@example.com. These companies will require payment direct for their services.