Ca. 1927-1928. 33 loose gelatin silver photos, including three larger photos ca. 13 & 15,5 x 18 cm (5 & 6 x 6 ¾ in); the rest of the photos are from ca. 9x14,5 cm (3 ½ x 5 ¾ in) to ca. 8,5x11 cm (3 ¼ x 4 ½ in). About a dozen photos numbered in negative, about a dozen with period pencil notes on verso, three photos with paper labels and typewritten captions and notes “Foto: Lieberenz” on verso. Housed in a modern clamshell card box ca. 18x20 cm (7 x 7 ¾ in). One photo with the loss of a piece on the lower margin, a couple of images mildly faded, but overall a very good collection of strong interesting photos.
Rare original photos from Sven Hedin’s fourth and last expedition to Central Asia – the Sino-Swedish Expedition (1927-35). In 1927-28 the expedition party which acted more like a union of independent researchers coordinated by Hedin, travelled across the territory of modern-day Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China - the Gobi Desert and the eastern ranges of the Tien Shan mountains (Qarliq, Bogda) to Urumchi (the region’s capital), and thence to the eastern and northern reaches of the Tarim Basin. In 1928-34 Hedin headed a Chinese party that surveyed and constructed new routes along the Silk Road from Bejing to Kashgar. The expedition resulted in the discovery of deposits of precious metals and minerals, as well as in the collection of archaeological, botanical, geological, and ethnographic materials.
The photographs from our collection relate to the first part of Hedin’s expedition and show camel caravans, and horse-drawn “araba” carriages travelling through the Gobi Desert, Dabancheng mountain pass (Bogda Shan range), the castle of the local warlord Julbars Khan (1889-1971) at Hami, a “Chinese village in the north,” native guides and local peasants (at desert water holes, campsites, carrying a hunted argali ram), expedition pets (dogs, goats and antelope Dicky), etc. The photos were taken by the expedition photographer and cameraman Paul Lieberenz: three photos have paper labels with typewritten text “Lieberenz photo” on verso, seven photos found in the published expedition accounts have printed notes confirming Lieberenz’ authorship. One of the photos is a group portrait of Hedin, Lieberenz and count Woldemar von Schwerin, a hunter and the author of “Nyassaland” (1939) and “In den Jägdgründen der Mongolei unter Räubern, Hirten und Soldaten” (1942). Overall a valuable and rare collection of original photos from Sven Hedin’s last expedition to Central Asia.
Seven photos from the collection are published in the contemporary expedition accounts:
Hedin, S. Åter till Asien. Min Expedition 1927-1928 med Svenskar Tyskar och kineser genom Öknen Gobi. Stockholm, 1928:
1. Antilopungen Dickys fosterfar och fostermor (plate between pp. 48-49);
2. Natt med fullmåne (plate facing p. 225);
3. Jollars Khans borg. Hami (plate facing p. 281).
Berger, A., Lieberenz, P. Mit Sven Hedin durch Asiens Wüsten. Berlin, 1932:
1. Dawantschin Pass (plate facing p. 320, a photo of horse-driven arabas, taken in the same setting).
Hedin, S. Bergman, F. History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935/ Reports from the Scientific Expedition to North-Western China under the Leadership of Dr. Sven Hedin. Part 1. 1928-1928. Stokholm, 1943:
1. The big merchant caravan setting out from Tsaghan-burgasun over the moon-landscape of the Black Gobi (plate 36, facing p. 197);
2. Reaching the foot-hills of the eastern Quarliq-tagh (plate 39, facing p. 224, very similar photo, taken in the same setting);
3. Our arabas at the foot of the passes near Davan-ch’eng (plate 47, facing p. 240, a photo of horse riders instead of arabas taken in the same setting).
Price: $3,500.00 USD