Stereoviews from a complete set of China Through the Stereoscope – £3200 at Chiswick Auctions.

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Published by Underwood & Underwood of New York & London in 1901, this is the complete set comprising 100 numbered and captioned photograph stereoviews, the accompanying book and a booklet of eight folding maps showing the location of each image. It comes in a card and cloth box formed as a three-volume book.

The photographs, taken by American travel photographer James Ricalton as he toured the country, are important as they document a volatile period in the final years of Imperial China. Ricalton arrived in Tianjin in July 1900 when the city was under siege from the Boxers and in Peking shortly after the Siege of the Legations had been lifted.

The contents were recently reprinted as a book under the title A Journey Through the Dragon Empire at the Time of the Boxer Uprising.

This original set was in very good, lightly used condition. Estimated at £200-250 at the auction on February 28, it sold at £3200.

Another set sold for £2900 at Dominic Winter in December 2020.