Title China: a Manchu bride. Photograph by John Thomson, 1871.
Imprint [1871]



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Physical description 1 photograph : glass photonegative, wet collodion
Lettering Manchu bride
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 Stephen White, John Thomson: life and photographs, London, 1985, pl. 129, "A Tartar bride"
Lettering note Bears Thomson's negative number: "716"
Summary A head and shoulders portrait of a young woman, posed to face the front against a dark background, looking left. Dressed in a richly embroidered costume and floral headgear with tassels, her face is powdered white. The photographer John Thomson took many photographs of Manchu brides and their magnificent wedding costumes. In this example he adopted a style that is both discreet and intimate, showing his sensitivity towards the sitter. The glimpse of sadness in her eyes reflects a gloomy view of a Manchu bride's prospects in marriage: for Thomson it was reckoned a life of slavery, in which the wife 'is even liable to be beaten by her mother-in-law, and husband too, if she neglects to discharge her duties as general domestic drudge'
Cite as Wellcome Library no. 19684i
References China through the lens of John Thomson, 1868-1872, Beijing: Beijing World Art Museum, 2009, p. 26 (reproduced)
Author, etc. Thomson, J. (John), 1837-1921.
Topic-LCSH Brides.
Place name China.
Genre/Technique Wet collodion negatives.
Copy photo no. L 56501 image used in World Digital Library
L 56500 opaque scan of negative
L 60701
System no. .b11775622
Record no. 19684i