Black and white photograph showing a man in winter clothes, wearing a fur cap and layers of clothing, holding feather dusters. The dusters are made of chicken feathers, mounted on wooden poles. The man's cloth purse hangs from his left shoulder.
In 'A Photographer in Old Peking', Hedda Morrison wrote that 'Peking was a dry and dusty place and feather dusters were always in demand (p. 123)'. Morrison did not use a zoom lens in any of her portraiture, and she did not pay people in order to photograph them. This portrait reveals something of the personality of the vendor and the curious rapport that Morrison established with her sitters, who were almost always unknown to her. This close-up was probably cropped to achieve a greater sense of containment and intimacy.
This is one of a large number of photographs that were taken by Hedda Morrison (1908-1991) during her years of residence in Peking (Beijing), China 1933-1946.
Exhibited in 'An Asian Experience: 1933-67', organised by the Asian Studies Association of Australia, Fisher Library Foyer, University of Sydney, 12-30 May 1986. Reproduced in Hedda Morrison, 'A Photographer in Old Peking', Hong Kong, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 123, with the caption: 'Feather duster seller. Peking was a dry and dusty place and feather dusters were always in demand.'
Gift of Mr Alastair Morrison, 1992