Dancing in Peking on St Patrick's day

The blog plays catch-up, as it is Oxford University’s Professor of Art History, Craig Clunas, who spotted that we have a St Patrick’s day photograph (Ph04-092), and has tweeted it via his ever-interesting twitter-feed @CraigClunas.

Dancing at the Tomb of the Princess, Peking, St Patrick's day, 1929

Dancing at the Tomb of the Princess, Peking, St Patrick’s Day 1929, Phipps collection, Ph04-092, © 2008 Charlotte Thomas

This is a spring picnic — very Peking Picnic for those who know the Ann Bridge novel of that name (and if you don’t know it, it is a great read). This group — with then British Minister (as the ambassador as formally known), Sir Miles Lampson on the left (with pipe, cap, height), his nieces, and embassy staff — are enjoying themselves at the 公主坟, Gongzhufen, the ‘Tomb of the Princess’ as they will have known it. This was west of the south entrance to the Forbidden City Complex, and they rode out there. Other photographs in the series can be found on the site. The tomb’s name survives as a Beijing No.1 subway line stop: but as the site is now smothered by the intersection of the capital’s third ring road with Fuxing road, neither dancing nor picnics are to be recommended.

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