Victorian aristocrat’s 1870s photo album might sell for £7,000 at auction

The discovery of a Victorian aristocrat’s photo album depicting an impoverished world on the edge of major transformation.

A globetrotting Victorian aristocrat's photo album of an underdeveloped world on the cusp of dramatic change has come to light. Sir Arthur Hobhouse and his wife took the opportunity to travel across North America and China en route to his posting in India in the 1870s, when the British Empire was at its peak. Above: Niagara Falls
During the 1870s, when the British Empire was at its height, Sir Arthur Hobhouse and his wife traversed North America and China en route to his assignment in India.

He brought along his camera and photographed the couple’s travels.

In North America, Hobhouse photographed Niagara Falls, a devastated Quebec city in 1876 following a devastating fire, and a crowded ice-skating rink in Montreal.

There are additional photographs of Washington, DC, Yosemite National Park, and San Francisco prior to the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The discovery of a Victorian aristocrat’s photo album depicting an impoverished world on the edge of major transformation.The couple spent time in San Francisco on the East Coast, taking this picture of the Golden Gate strait before the bridge was built

In the 1870s, when the British Empire was at its height, Sir Arthur Hobhouse and his wife seized the chance to travel via North America and China en route to his assignment in India. Above: Niagara Falls

The pair visited San Francisco on the East Coast and captured this image of the Golden Gate Strait prior to the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Among the 69 black-and-white photographs in the album is a double-page photograph of Hong Kong.

Even though it was considered a lively port in the early 1870s, it has transformed into a skyscraper-filled financial city.

Still in Hong Kong, the British couple visited the Happy Valley racecourse when it was merely a collection of sheds housing spectators.

55,000 racegoers may be accommodated in its seven-story stands with executive bopxs.Also among the 69 black and white prints in the album is a striking double-page view of Hong Kong (above)

Among the album’s 69 black-and-white photographs is a breathtaking double-page image of Hong Kong (above)

Even though it was considered a lively port in the early 1870s, it has transformed into a skyscraper-filled financial city.

This breathtaking photograph was taken by Hobhouse at the famous Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, which is known for its rock formations.

Additionally, Hobhouse and his wife visited Washington. The Capitol is visible in the sky, with the city skyline mainly unobstructed by tall buildings.

Another graphic depicts the devastation a fire in 1876 caused to a Quebec city.

Since its compilation, the album America & China has remained in the Hobhouse family.

It is now up for auction at London’s Forum Auctions for an estimated £7,000.Hobhouse and his wife also visited Washington. The Capitol can be seen above, with the city's skyline then largely unobscured by tall buildings

It’s an interesting CD, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it sells for a bit more,’ said Max Hasler of Forum Auctions.

“Large double-page views of Hong Kong harbor prior to its development are currently in high demand.”

Sir Arthur Hobhouse is pictured in his eighties above. Hobhouse was a barrister who was appointed to the council of the Governor-General of India in the 1870s.

While still in Hong Kong, the British couple visited the Happy Valley racecourse when it had only shed-like shelters for spectators.

When they were enjoying themselves in Montreal, Hobhouse and his wife also attended an ice ball.

During their world tour, the couple also traveled to China. A bridge spans a river in China, with small wooden boats lined up along the water’s edge.

Another image from the archive of Hobhouse depicts Montreal in the Quebec province of Canada.

This is an incredible snapshot of the city prior to its tremendous transformation.

“The image of the racetrack is intriguing because it depicts the exact same scene but with a completely different backdrop.”

‘It is uncommon to see so many photographs from the same journey taken across the globe at the same time. In terms of its breadth, it is quite beautiful.

‘At a time when many sections of the world were on the edge of major change, few individuals would have had the funds and wherewithal to undertake a global tour.

Sir Arthur was an important figure in the British Empire, which was at its zenith just prior to its decline.

Sir Arthur Hobhouse, a solicitor from Somerset, was appointed to the council of the Governor-General of India in the 1870s.

On Thursday, the record will be available for purchase.


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