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Asia/China : Hong Kong Bund Postcard From 1912

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Linus
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01 Feb 2018
04:16:11pm
Today, I will share an old postcard from my collection, mailed from Hong Kong to Japan. I have no idea what the message in Japanese is all about, and I cannot even remember where I found this card, acquired many years ago. Check out the fine print, in English, along the left edge, for the publisher of this card...

Linus

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Guthrum
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02 Feb 2018
04:47:58am
re: Hong Kong Bund Postcard From 1912

I was intrigued by what look like two or three sports grounds in that photograph.

A check on Google maps suggests that we are looking at the Happy Valley racecourse on the right, and maybe Victoria Park in the distance. Anyone able to confirm/correct this?

I cannot make out the word written before "Iwamoto" in the address line, but the organisation (I assume not a person) was obviously sufficiently well-known not to require any further address beyond "Tokio".

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Ningpo
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02 Feb 2018
07:25:37am
re: Hong Kong Bund Postcard From 1912

Ian,

You are correct about the racecourse and park. The plot of land to the left of the racecourse is now the football stadium. The small headland to its left is now the Royal HK Yacht Club and the bay beyond that is now the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter.

It can sometimes be difficult identifying landmarks from old postcards against modern maps, due to the seemingly unending redevelopment of the former colony; although this particular example is more straightforward, being on Hong Kong island.

The HK government have for many years reclaimed much land from the sea on the Kowloon peninsular (the brown coloured mountain range in the postcard image), which makes identification almost impossible in some instances. For example, the land which accommodated the former Kai Tak airport is now totally unrecognisable; its footprint massive in comparison to the time when I lived on Kai Tak.

Linus, it's nice to see a 'Paquebot' marking actually on 'cover' by the way.

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pigdoc
02 Feb 2018
07:42:39am
re: Hong Kong Bund Postcard From 1912

Neat card Linus!

This, from Wiki:

"The Old Wan Chai Post Office is the oldest surviving post office building in Hong Kong. It is situated at No. 221 Queen's Road East, at the junction with Wan Chai Gap Road."

Very nice street views on googlemaps! There's a brass plaque on the front of the building that cannot be made out.

Nice to know that some history survives sometimes...

The other thing I'll point out is the word "Bund" on the front. German for "Federation". Suggests (to me) that the card was printed in Germany, which in the early 20th century, was very common, for US publishers as well. I have seen assertions that postcard publishers were heavily dependent upon German printers in this era...

There was a boom in use of postcards in this era, and (to me) thus it would seem to be a rich collecting period for deltiologists, which I am not (yet) one of, entirely...


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pigdoc
02 Feb 2018
08:25:41am
re: Hong Kong Bund Postcard From 1912

One other thought:

Do you suppose the Paquebot to Japan departed from the harbor depicted on the card?

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nigelc
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02 Feb 2018
11:37:20am
re: Hong Kong Bund Postcard From 1912

Hi,

This is a lovely card. Happy It reminds me of the novel Taipan set around the founding of Hong Kong back in the nineteenth century (and also Noble House set much later).

Quote:

"I cannot make out the word written before "Iwamoto" in the address line, but the organisation (I assume not a person) was obviously sufficiently well-known not to require any further address beyond "Tokio"."


I wonder if there's a more precise address in the first columns of Japanese text at the right?

Quote:

"The other thing I'll point out is the word "Bund" on the front. German for "Federation". Suggests (to me) that the card was printed in Germany, which in the early 20th century, was very common, for US publishers as well. I have seen assertions that postcard publishers were heavily dependent upon German printers in this era..."


The Bund is the commercial waterfront. The most famous Bund is in Shanghai:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bund




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pigdoc
02 Feb 2018
01:08:32pm
re: Hong Kong Bund Postcard From 1912

Learning all the time, I am!

So, if the commercial waterfront is what is depicted, then it IS likely that the Paquebot departed from somewhere in the picture on the card!

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Ningpo
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02 Feb 2018
01:48:06pm
re: Hong Kong Bund Postcard From 1912

Likely but not conclusive. It may need a little research into the usage of the index VI CDS. A number of these rather anonymous handstamps were used in that era, which in my view makes these rather dull. These perhaps reflect the need to cancel an ever increasing volume of post at that time. Thus they may have been put into service to be used at various post offices at short notice.

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Linus
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02 Feb 2018
02:02:41pm
re: Hong Kong Bund Postcard From 1912

Thank you Guthrum, thank you Ningpo, thank you pigdoc, and thank you nigelc for all of your comments and kind words regarding this postcard. The link you provided, Nigel, explaining the word "bund" was most helpful. I had heard of "The Bund" in Shanghai before, but was not aware that the term "bund" was also used elsewhere in Asia. I have lots of other postcards showing Hong Kong's waterfront, and it is fascinating how much it has evolved over 100+ years of development to the high-rise, modern city of today.

Linus

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Ningpo
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02 Feb 2018
03:13:12pm
re: Hong Kong Bund Postcard From 1912

Having looked into this further, it would seem that the card may well have departed from this bay (Victoria Harbour). The post office was located in Pedder Street. The cancellator shown on the postcard is indeed one of eight; indexed I to VIII and introduced in 1911. These were replacements for the withdrawn VICTORIA versions.

There is no explanation why these anonymous handstamp were introduced. Certainly bizarre, as they themselves were replaced and reverted to VICTORIA again in 1934.

As to the number of these in use, I can only surmise that the post office at Victoria was extremely busy with more than the usual number of counter clerks. This would explain the sudden introduction of other post offices in that area, shortly after.

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