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    A series of rare photographs and maps of China will be offered for sale at Sotheby’s sale of Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History in London on April 30.  Created nearly 150 years ago, they include some of the earliest images of the country, bringing to light a historic China and illuminating a landscape now changed beyond recognition.  Highlights include: a rare large-scale historic Chinese woodcut map of Beijing; 60 photographs of 1870s Xiamen; 100 of 1870’s Ningbo and over 100 of 1860’s Beijing.

    Photographs of historic China are highly desired by collectors around the globe.  The auction record for any historic photographs of the region currently stands at £349,250 for a rare album of photographs by John Thomson titled Foochow and the River Min which sold at Sotheby’s on 15 November 2012.  One of an edition of only 46, this album was offered for sale by descendants of the original tea-merchant owner, Oliver Latham, who won the album in a pigeon match in Foochow in April 1873.

    One of 60 photographs of 1870's Xiamen (£40,000-60,000).

    One of 60 photographs of 1870’s Xiamen (£40,000-60,000).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £50,000

    A complete map of Shun Tian.

    A rare historic map of Beijing (£40,000-60,000). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £37,500

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