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Shanghai History

Following on from our recent series about Shanghai's tea and tea house history, we thought we'd take a look a broader look at 19th Century Shanghai. A recent BBC news article looks at some of the wonderful photographs of the British engineer turned photographer William Saunders. Saunders spent nearly 25 years in Shanghai exploring the fascinating city around him.


The photographs capture many different characters of Shanghai, bridging different social statuses and a changing world.

Shanghai 19th century hairdressers  

Shanghai hair cut - William Saunders


Saunder's established what would become one of the leading photographic studios of the late Qing Dynasty in Shanghai. His photographs were often hand coloured, capturing the colour and a different perspective of the time.

 Late Qing Dynasty Shanghai photograph

Chinese lady with bound feet - William Saunders

For those interested in this period of history, there will be an exhibition of William Saunders works in London between Fri 4 November to Sat 12 November 2016 at 32A Gerrard Street, London,UK.



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