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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.
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.
In many cases, he was the first Westerner the people he photographed had encountered.
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.
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.