Title Camel sculptures on the road to the Ming tombs outside Peking. Photograph by John Thomson, 1871.



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Physical description 1 photograph : glass photonegative, wet collodion ; glass approximately 20.5 x 25.5 cm (8 x 10 in.)
Note This is one of a collection of original glass negatives made by John Thomson. The negatives, made between 1868 and 1872, were purchased from Thomson by Sir Henry Wellcome in 1921
References John Thomson, Illustrations of China and its people, London, 1873-4, vol. 4, pl. XX.
John Thomson, Through China with a camera, London, 1898, f.p. 272, "Avenue leading to the Ming tombs, north of Peking"
Stephen White, John Thomson life and photographs, London, 1985, plate 115
Nick Pearce, Photographs of Peking, China 1861-1908: an inventory and description of the Yetts collection at the University of Durham: through Peking with a camera, Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 2005, no. 53, pp. 135-136
Lettering note Bears Thomson's negative number: "501"
Summary Open air sculptures representing reclining camels in the foreground and, in the distance, elephants. A man leaning against the foremost camel sculpture, holding a pipe; probably one of Thomson's two Chinese assistants, Akum or Ahong. The road is called the Spirit Road (Shendao), and leads to the tombs of thirteen Ming emperors (Shisanling), starting with Yongle (1403-1425) (Pearce, loc. cit.). Changling is approached first through an avenue protected by animals carved from limestone. Each species comprises two pairs, a kneeling pair and a standing one. There are 24 species, ranging from lions and unicorns to camels, elephants and 'qilin' (one of the four divine animals). All wear expressions of tranquil repose, 'thoroughly in keeping with their duty as the guardians of the dead'
References China through the lens of John Thomson, 1868-1872, Beijing: Beijing World Art Museum, 2009, p. 72 (reproduced)
Cite as Wellcome Library no. 19258i
Lettering Road to Ming tombs, N China
Author, etc. Thomson, J. (John), 1837-1921.
Topic-LCSH Ming Tombs (China)
Place name Pechili Province (China)
Beijing (China)
Genre/Technique Landscape photographs.
Wet collodion negatives.
Copy photo no. L 55853 the negative digitally reversed to positive
L 55852 opaque scan of negative
System no. .b11771367
Record no. 19258i