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Wonderfully Hand Colored Albumen Photo of Young Chinese Couple (?) in Wedding Dress (?) with Fans


In stock

SKU: CDV-1253 Category:

The characters above their head, which could tell us so much, are unreadable

This photo pictures a young husband and wife or two women, one in man’s clothes. Their clothes are dissimilar enough to make me think the very feminine person on the right could be a man. The lack of decoration on his clothes compared to the woman is also a clue. There is no photographer marked, or ID of any kind on the back. The characters above their heads are so tantalizing, but seemingly unreadable. I sent the scans to a friend to try and decipher the text and she joked that it’s probably talking about the flowers and the birds, and is a wedding blessing given the setting. She then shared the photos with a friend who is a scholar of the Qing Dynasty and he noted that the “man” could be a woman and that they could be prostitutes. He also found the text impenetrable. I looked online for comparable prints of this photo but couldn’t find any.

At just under 2.75 x 4 inches, this photo is mounted wider than a standard carte de visite. The photo size is standard though. The photo is in fine condition while the mount has some edge wear/chipping. The lower left corner of the mount is clipped. The card is a bit soiled, although not severely.


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