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Foochow, Fukien province, China: the foreign settlement. Photograph by John Thomson, 1870/1871.

  • Thomson, J. (John), 1837-1921.
  • Pictures

Selected images from this work

About this work


View of Fouzhou (Foochow) city from a height showing the foreign settlement in the foreground. Many moored ships in the middle ground

Although Fuzhou was one of the five ports made open to foreign residents by the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842, another decade passed before the city finally entered into trade with foreign countries. Its chief export was tea, and in 1863 over 50 million pounds of it were exported from Fuzhou. Money brought a flood of foreign traders to the city, and a great number of foreign missionaries were also active in the area. By the time of John Thomson’s visit, Fuzhou’s foreign settlement was well established, boasting an excellent club, library and racket court. The settlement is built on the south bank of the River Min, separated from the main city by a bridge and a small island. It has a mixture of Chinese and European-style houses



Physical description

1 photograph : glass photonegative, wet collodion ; glass approximately 25.5 x 30.5 cm (10 x 12 in.)


City of Foochow, China, showing foreign settlement


This is one of a collection of original glass negatives made by John Thomson. The negatives, made between 1868 and 1872, were purchased from Thomson by Sir Henry Wellcome in 1921

References note

John Thomson, Illustrations of China and its people Vol II. Pl. XVI no. 43 "Foochow foreign settlement"
China through the lens of John Thomson, 1868-1872, Beijing: Beijing World Art Museum, 2009, p. 92 (reproduced)

Lettering note

Bears Thomson's negative number: "328"


Wellcome Library no. 18912i


  • English

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