Five (5) volumes of photographic prints 'Views', cardboard / cloth / metal, made by Serge Vargassoff, Peking, China, 1930s and 1940s
These five albums of photographs of China by Serge Vargassoff each contain approximately 1,000 photographs. The images show various landscape, architectural and genre scenes taken in and around Peking (Beijing), China. All five albums are landscape format and have thick cloth-covered cardboard covers. The pages of the albums are made of black card. They are bound on the left hand side with metal pinfastenings, some of which have been replaced with black string.
The photographs are each identified by a handwritten numeral and some with captions and are mounted in the albums in ascending numerical order. The photographs are numbered consecutively from album to album which provides their sequencing (though the album with Views 1,000-2,000 is missing).
As the photographs were taken between 1900 and 1960, they are black-and-white silver gelatin prints. The prints are pasted to the pages with glue. In each photograph the image is surrounded by a white border. The border was the result of the photographic paper being held in a special holder during enlargement, a technique that was not commonly employed until about the mid-1910s.
Details of the five albums are as follows: on the cover of the first album "Views Nos. 1-1000" has been embossed in glided letters in the centre and "Photographs by S. Vargassoff" at the bottom right corner. Subjects photographed in this album include Tatung (Datong), Shansi (Shanxi) and Yun Kan Caves (Yungang Caves) dated 1931, Peking dated 1932, air views of Peking (Beijing), Tientsin (Tianjin), Pei Tai Ho (Beidai he) Shang Hai Kuan (Shanhai guan) and Mukden (Shenyang). Albums 2 to 5 have been similary labelled. The second album is marked "Views No. 2001-3000 PHOTOGRAPHS BY SERGE VARGASSOFF". Subjects photographed in this album include Sui Yuan (Suiyuan), Tatung caves (Datong caves), Belgian Embassy, Russian cemetery, Yenching University (Yanjing University), Fai Hi Ssu (Faihai Si Temple) and Pi Yun Ssu (Biyun Si Temple). The third album has embossed text "Views Nos. 3001-4000 Photographs by Serge Vargassoff". Subjects photographed include Yellow Palace, Summer Palace, Yu Chin Kuan (Yujin Guan), Pa Ta Chu (Badachu), Pi Yun Ssu (Biyun Si Temple), Wu Tai Shan (Wutai Shan Mountain), Nan Hsiao Chieh (Nanxiao Jie Street), Wo Fo Ssu, Pi Yun Ssu, Wan Shan Tien, Wu Tai Shan, Jehol, Pan Tao Kung, Pei Hai, Chinese Houses and Courtyards. The fourth album is marked "Views No. 4001-5000 Photographs by Serge Vargassoff". Subjects photographed include the Ming Tombs, Nan Hai, Hsin Hua Men (Xinhua Men), Wu Men, Natamen-Wai (Nandamen Wai), Yen Ching (Yanjing), Ku Pei Kow (Gubeikou), Tung Kan (Dongguan), Yun kan, Pei Kuan, Hsian Shan, Pai Ta Ssu, Wan Shan Tien, Tung Yeeh Miao (Dongyue Miao Temple), Ku Pei Kow, Chi Hua Men (Zhihua Men), Ku Tze Miao (Guzi Miao Temple), Fa Hai Ssu, Pei Hai, Ta Kao Tien (Dakou Dian), Tai Miao (Dai Miao Temple), Pa Li Chuan (Balizhuang), Mo Ke An, Pu Lo Ssu (Pulesi Temple), Ku Lou (Gulou - Drum Tower), Mei Shan, Ta Hui Ssu (Dahuisi Temple) and Lung Fu Ssu (Longfusi Temple). The cover of the last album is marked "Views Nos 5001-6000 PHOTOGRAPHS BY SERGE VARGASSOFF". In this album photographs are numbered up to 5139. Subjects photographed include Po Yun Kan (Baiyun Guan), Pi Yun Ssu Village, Ha Ta Men and Wu Men.
See listing of the places photographed in accompanying documentation.
On the cover of the first album the title 'Views Nos. 1-1000 has been embossed in gilded letters in the centre. The photographer's name, 'Serge Vargassoff,' has been embossed in small gilded letters in the bottom right hand corner of each album. Albums 2 to 5 have been similarly labelled.