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BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: ForumAuctions/BNPS<br />
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Pictured: Scotsman, John Thomson photographed street sellers<br />
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Rarely seen 150 year old photos taken by one of the first British photographers to explore China have emerged for sale for £20,000.<br />
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Scotsman John Thomson (1837-1921) travelled to the Far East in 1868 and established a studio in Hong Kong, using it as a base to explore remote parts of the vast country for the next four years, photographing landmarks, scenery and the native population.<br />
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In many cases, he was the first Westerner the people he photographed had encountered.<br />
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One striking image shows a prisoner in chains with a head poking through a board covered in Chinese symbols, perhaps listing his misdemeanours. In another, a man poses next to a giant camel statue in the grounds around the Ming tombs of the Forbidden City.<br />
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Almost 100 of his photos feature in a rare first edition of 'Thomson Illustrations of China and Its People' (1873), which is going under the hammer with London-based Forum Auctions.