The ‘Blossoms’ looks like an orchard of either apple or cherry trees, which was probably in, or close to, Chefoo (Yantai). It must have been a favourite springtime picnic spot for the Carrall family, as their photograph albums hold several snaps recording their picnics and outings there, on several different dates.
By 1902, outings weren’t outings without cameras – and this photograph of Maude Carrall taking a photograph, was taken by Mr Forsyth. Maude Carrall was one of the daughters of James Wilcocks Carrall, whose long career (1868-1902) in the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, culminated as Commissioner of Customs in Chefoo. He was to die in May, shortly after this Sunday picnic trip to the ‘Blossoms’.
See other photographs in the album compiled by Maude Carrall (Ca02), many of which would have been taken by her, perhaps with a Kodak box camera. These two ‘Blossoms’ images also include cameras (and so photographers): Ca02-106 and Ca02-110.
Actually, it is Maude Carrall. Since I first provided the photos, I have found that Maude bought her Kodak in Shanghai in February 1902, when Muriel was in England because of a family drama over her short-lived engagement in 1901. The full story and the photo are now in the newly published ‘Friends of Sir Robert Hart: Three generations of Carrall Women in China’. There are over sixty photos in the book, some dating back to 1860. For info, visit http://www.tiffaniabooks.com, as well as descriptions in their own words of both daily life and tumultuous events, such as the French attack on Fuzhou in 1884, or Hart’s feelings on returning to his devastated house and garden after release from the Legation during the Boxer siege in 1900.
Thank you: we have now corrected Muriel to Maude
I particularly like the white spots, giving a rather lovely impression of falling petals. This is a false impression I’m sure, as it is probably due to poor processing or fungus, but just for once it is interesting to see a “fault” add to the aesthetic value of an image!
Spring is in the air…
The white spots are not fungus, and may well be due to less than perfect processing conditions, or skills, when the negative or print was made – maybe by Mr Forsyth himself?
Another image enhanced aesthetically by a ‘fault’ is Ar03-049:
I believe the spots are due to acid penetration from the paper of her album. In the reproduction in the book they have been toned down but at the expense of less clarity on the hills in the background.