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China In Those Days: An Historical Postcard Journey

Sorry ! - you can call me bias, but I just have to squeeze this one in for those BPH followers in the China Photography sub-group.

With an excess of over 1600 postcard images spanning from the late 1890s to the first decades of the 20th century, this recently published book is very likely the largest pictural collection of ancient images on China and "China Offshore".

Started with one man's passion and obsession with collecting postcards, Thomas Brandt, a German based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has probably amassed arguably the world’s largest historic collection of China and Chinese overseas postcards - a total in excess of 9,000 images, with the earliest produced in 1895.

The book’s concept, research, writing and eventual publication took four years to complete. Over 1,600 postcards were finally selected for the book, and among them are many of Brandt's favourites. Apparently, 30% of the images have not even been seen in China.

Printed in Germany on the best Italian paper, with the edges gold-plated by hand, the book comes with a special marker with a magnifier. Each copy of the 336-page book is signed by the author. The weighty book, which spans 30cm x 29.7cm, and is 3.8cm thick, costs a reasonable 139 Euros despite the huge costs involved in producing it.

Brant has been travelling around Asia giving talks on the book and its images. Who knows, he might head to London soon. Further information on the book, including a gallery showing a small selection of the images, can be found here.

As they say, each postcard is worth a thousand words ......

Photo: China In Those Days and its author, Thomas Brandt; Postcard of the Chinese practice of foot-binding - another ‘exotic’ trait that fascinated and still fascinates the West.

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