A photograph by Johannes Schröder (1870-1942) from one of the albums on offer at Edinburgh saleroom Lyon & Turnbull on May 9.

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The fruits of his labours are evident in a vast photography collection showcasing his interest in art, travel, and contemporary lives of natives in Asia, Africa and North America at the turn of the 20th century.

The collection comprises 10 albums containing over a thousand images and nearly 300 images in loose sheets. It includes not just personal snapshot-style photos taken by Schröder himself but also professional shots taken by the likes of Felice Beato.

That huge late 19th-early 20th century ensemble is coming up in the Fine Asian Works of Art auction at Edinburgh saleroom Lyon & Turnbull on May 9, in 14 lots.

The highest-valued album is estimated at £10,000-15,000. In this lot are 87 photos from China, predominantly taken in Hong Kong and Shanghai, where Schröder was based for some time; 24 from Canada and the US; 15 from Egypt; 26 from India; 15 from Sri Lanka; and 137 from Japan (including 15 professional hand-coloured views).

Schröder lived in Shanghai from 1899 to 1905, and repeatedly returned to China even after he went back to Berlin to take up a post at the Foreign Office. This accounts for the significant number of photos of the declining Qing Empire in his collection, in particular those of the Boxer Rebellion, to which he was a witness.

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