4 Monate Krieg [Four Months War] Shanghai 1937 [Original photos]
Item ID 70269
Shanghai, unpublished, 1937. Oblong folio (18.1 x 26.5 cm). 44 pp., each with one to four original photos, for a total of 102 photos (ca 9 x 6 cm), mounted and tissue-guarded. In Chinese embroided cloth binding with Chinese characters. A unique ensemble of original photographs by the Swiss commercial traveller and amateur entomologist Pierre Pfanner (1901-1985), who happened to be in Shanghai in 1937, when the Chino-Japanese war started, or intensified, depending on the point of view. Pfanner was in the thick of it and compiled a chronological photo album of the events. The rather small but very sharp photos show atrocities, mainly by bombing, from both warring sides, and the destruction of large parts of Shanghai. For instance, four photos depict the situation on 14 August: "Kurze Zeit später fallen nochmals 2 Bomben an der Ecke Yu-Ya-Ching Road und Av. Edward VII welche circa 1300 Menchen töteren und verwundeten" ( A short time later again two bombs fell on the corner of Yu-Ya-Ching Road and Av. Edward VII which killed and wounded about 1300 people ); another photo is captioned "In der Nacht von 26 zum 27 Okt. zogen sich die Chinesen aus Chapei unter Brandstiftung zurück, eine übriges taten die Japaner und am 27 Okt. erstreckte sich der Brand auf 9 Kilometer" ( On the night of 26 to 27 Oct. the Chinese withdrew from Chapei, arsoning; the rest [of the destruction] was done by the Japanese and on 27 Oct. the fire extended 9 kilometers ). The photos are captionned with very neat German handwriting in white on black. One photo was not made by Pfanner - it shows the British Army officer Major-General Alexander Patrick Drummond Telfer-Smollett (1884-1954), chairman of the Chinese International Relief Committee with Father Jaquinot, standing in a Chinese street. The French Jesuit Robert de Besange "Prêtre Jaquinot" (1878-1946) set up a successful model of safety zones that saved over half a million Chinese people during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The portfolio, all the photos, leaves and tissue-guards in pristine condition. An exceptional item.