Author [Hedin expedition] Lieberenz, P. Original diaries, photographs, letters and notebooks.
Published 1927-1928
Item ID 73150
(Excl. 21% VAT)
[Tibet], mostly unpublished, 1927-1928. Diary in ‘Einjahrbuch’ (19.0 x 15.5 cm; 365 pp.; sold in Hamburg by Max Schlichtmann), with the author’s name and Berlin address, and a smaller agenda (14.3 x 9.2 cm), with a hand-written label ‘1928 / April - Mai / Ürumtschi - Berlin’; a set of business cards, mostly in Chinese, inserted. This includes, however, a business card of Sven Hedin ‘Correspondant de l’Institut de Sinologie de l’Université nationale de Pékin’ in both French and Chinese, and of several other people who aided the expedition; several letters, a map, and over 500 original photographs, as described below. Paul Karl Lieberenz (1893-1954), was an important German documentary film maker and cameraman. One of his best-known films is Mit Sven Hedin durch Asiens Wüsten [ With Sven Hedin through Asia’s Deserts ] (1932). This item consists of original notes, including a diary, and over 500 photographs made by Lieberenz during Hedin’s expedition. “The Sino-Swedish Expedition was a bilateral Chinese-English expedition, led by Sven Hedin, which carried out scientific research in north and northwest China, 1927-1935. The Expedition looked in particular at the meteorology, topography and prehistory in Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Xinjiang. Chiang Kai-shek was a patron of the Expedition. Hedin described it as a peripatetic university in which the participating scientists worked almost independently, while he - like a local manager - negotiated with local authorities, made decisions, organized whatever was necessary, raised funds and recorded the route followed. He gave archaeologists, astronomers, botanists, geographers, geologists, meteorologists and zoologists from Sweden, Germany and China an opportunity to participate in the expedition and carry out research in their areas of specialty. Hedin met Chiang Kai-shek in Nanjing, who thereupon became a patron of the expedition. The expedition collected a wealth of scientific information which are being published upon to the present time. For example, the discovery of specific deposits of iron, manganese, oil, coal and gold reserves was of great economic relevance for China.” (Wikipedia). The first research trip, carried out from February 1927 to May 1928, equipped with 60 men, 300 camels and 40 tons of luggage, led from the Mongolian border to the west. In November 1927, Hedin and his international research team crossed the Gobi Desert towards Hami and Ürumqi, where he was received with military honours. Lieberenz’s material relates to this first part of the Hedin expedition and hence to the area mentioned above. It still is one of the least-known regions of China and includes East Turkestan or Uyghuristan. Lieberenz’s diary starts on the printed page for 26 February with that day in 1927 (year added by hand), then continues until the last day of 1927; proceeds further on the page for January 1 (in front) with 1 January 1928 (year added by hand), up to 24 February, 1928, and then, added on loose-leaf ruled paper of nearly the same size, from 25 February 1928 to 23 April, 1928. At the end no longer always daily, but, for instance, with a gap between 25 March and 10 April. More daily notes are contained in a smaller agenda (14.3 x 9.2 cm), with a handwritten label ‘1928 / April - Mai / Ürumtschi - Berlin’, ending on May12, and with many additional notes on travel and equipment costs, contents of trunks, and so on. The photographic material consists of ten large sheets with mounted original photos, numbered 1-216; followed by 12 sheets with numbers 217-491, and (starting with) ‘A’ numbers (to many of those numbered 1-350), plus ten original photographs, mounted on two similar-sized sheets of black instead of white cardboard, with pictures from the everyday life of the Chinese ethnic groups. Sheet size 42.0 x 29.5 cm; the photographs in different formats, from 8.0 x 11.0 cm to 14.5 x 18.5 cm; and 19 large, numbered original photographs (23.0 x 29.5 cm) - nine of them titled Om mani padme hum , with blind stamp ‘Filmprüfstelle Berlin, genehmigt [approved]’. The latter are still photos from Lieberenz’s earlier Tibet documentary of the same name, issued in 1928; the former, much larger set are photographs or stills from the film material for the expedition film by Lieberenz Mit Sven Hedin durch Asiens Wüsten . The images include expressive portraits and scenes of everyday life of the indigenous people, Buddhist ceremonies, etc. An additional original photo (10.2 x 16.5 cm) shows an Obo (Ovoo), as stated on a typed slip mounted on the rear. Also included are 29 business cards (contained in the second, smaller diary), mostly in Chinese, often with handwritten names in Roman alphabet added. Among the business cards is one of Sven Hedin, and several of Lieberenz himself (both in Chinese characters). Other original material from Paul Lieberenz’s estate - partly preparations for planned publications - includes: copies of handwritten and typewritten correspondence between Paul and Trude Lieberenz, with Sven Hedin and his sister Alma Hedin among others, in relation to the expedition film and the supply of images for advertising purposes and for a planned publication; 44 leaves of handwritten (41) and typewritten (3) manuscripts with handwritten corrections (somewhat browned and partially foxed or a bit soiled); one sheet titled (in German) ‘Asia. Existing records and film enlargements’; one blank sheet (48.0 x 35.0 cm; somewhat toned and stained); and one large, folded full-colour map Mongolei, published in by Justus Pertus in Gotha as part of Stielers Handatlas . The photographs in various formats document the arduous journey, the research work (e.g. on the climatology of Inner Asia and on surveying activities), the camp life of the expedition participants, the local populations and so on, and show impressions from everyday life, views, etc.; each photo with an individual number in white or black. ADDED: a fine, clean copy of Lieberenz’s published book, edited by Arthur Berger, Mit Sven Hedin durch Asiens Wüsten. Nach dem Tagebuch des Filmoperateurs der Expedition Paul Lieberenz bearbeitet Von Dr. Arthur Berger . Mit 16 Abbildungen. Berlin, Wegweiser-Verlag [Volksverband der Bucherfreunde], 1932. 8vo (18.0 x 12.1 cm). 384 pp.; 16 plates. Original pebbled half morocco over pictorial boards. Spine with gilt ornament and title. This work is not rare, but it is seldom found in such a good state. In all a wonderful collection of unique, eye-catching, items from a spectacular expedition to one of the remotest and still least-known parts of the World. With Hedin through Tibet - the unpublished eye witness account of his photographer