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The view from central Hong Kong Island. John Thomson was one of the first British photographers to venture to the Far East between 1868 and 1870

Fascinating images from 150 years ago show Hong Kong in the early days of British colonial rule and conquer the region, which is currently flooded with civil unrest and protest, in a much quieter time.

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John Thomson was one of the first British photographers to venture to the Far East between 1868 and 1870.

Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain by the Qing Dynasty in 1842 in the Treaty of Nanjing, which ended the First Opium War.

It was briefly occupied by Japan in from 1941 to 1945 before being surrendered to British rule, including from 1945 to 1997.

During his explorations, Thomson made countless ghostly photos of rural and undeveloped landscapes and the indigenous people he encountered.

The view from central Hong Kong Island. John Thomson was one of the first British photographers to venture to the Far East between 1868 and 1870

The view from central Hong Kong Island. John Thomson was one of the first British photographers to venture to the Far East between 1868 and 1870

The view from & # 39; Scandal Point & # 39 ;, where British residents met to discuss the latest gossip about colony
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The view from & # 39; Scandal Point & # 39 ;, where British residents met to discuss the latest gossip about colony

The view from & # 39; Scandal Point & # 39 ;, where British residents met to discuss the latest gossip about colony

A so-called & # 39; joss house & # 39; - Chinese temple - on Hong Kong Island. An old name in English for Chinese traditional temples is & # 39; joss house & # 39 ;. & # 39; Joss & # 39; is an anglicized spelling of the Portuguese word for & # 39; god & # 39 ;, deus

A so-called & # 39; joss house & # 39; - Chinese temple - on Hong Kong Island. An old name in English for Chinese traditional temples is & # 39; joss house & # 39 ;. & # 39; Joss & # 39; is an anglicized spelling of the Portuguese word for & # 39; god & # 39 ;, deus

A so-called & # 39; joss house & # 39; – Chinese temple – on Hong Kong Island. An old name in English for Chinese traditional temples is & # 39; joss house & # 39 ;. & # 39; Joss & # 39; is an anglicized spelling of the Portuguese word for & # 39; god & # 39 ;, deus

Look west towards Victoria Peak. As early as the 19th century, Peak attracted prominent European residents because of its panoramic view of the city and its temperate climate compared to the subtropical climate in the rest of Hong Kong. The sixth governor of Hong Kong, Sir Richard MacDonnell, had a summer residence built on the Peak around 1868

Look west towards Victoria Peak. As early as the 19th century, Peak attracted prominent European residents because of its panoramic view of the city and its temperate climate compared to the subtropical climate in the rest of Hong Kong. The sixth governor of Hong Kong, Sir Richard MacDonnell, had a summer residence built on the Peak around 1868

Look west towards Victoria Peak. As early as the 19th century, Peak attracted prominent European residents because of its panoramic view of the city and its temperate climate compared to the subtropical climate in the rest of Hong Kong. The sixth governor of Hong Kong, Sir Richard MacDonnell, had a summer residence built on the Peak around 1868

British men dressed in formal clothes enjoy a picnic near Lin Tin, an island in the mouth of the Pearl River in the southeastern Chinese province of Guangdong

British men dressed in formal clothes enjoy a picnic near Lin Tin, an island in the mouth of the Pearl River in the southeastern Chinese province of Guangdong

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British men dressed in formal clothes enjoy a picnic near Lin Tin, an island in the mouth of the Pearl River in the southeastern Chinese province of Guangdong

Photos capture the breathtaking view of Victoria Peak with views of the city and the panoramas of the relatively bald Hong Kong peninsula.

Victoria Peak, locally known as & # 39; The Peak & # 39 ;, is a hill on the western half of Hong Kong Island with a height of 552 m (1,811 ft).

The peak attracted prominent European residents due to the more moderate climate compared to the rest of Hong Kong.

A summer residence was built on the Peak for Hong Kong's sixth governor, Sir Richard MacDonnell, around 1868. The residents were carried up the steep slopes of Victoria Peak to their characteristics on sedan seats.

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Thomson photographed the botanical gardens, the famous Happy Valley racecourse and the city long before it was dominated by tall buildings.

Happy Valley racecourse, which was built in 1845 to allow the British to taste at home. It was built far from the more built-up areas of the island of Hong Kong, but today it is surrounded by skyscrapers and remains a tourist attraction

Happy Valley racecourse, which was built in 1845 to allow the British to taste at home. It was built far from the more built-up areas of the island of Hong Kong, but today it is surrounded by skyscrapers and remains a tourist attraction

Happy Valley racecourse, which was built in 1845 to allow the British to taste at home. It was built far from the more built-up areas of the island of Hong Kong, but today it is surrounded by skyscrapers and remains a tourist attraction

Shown is the & # 39; Exeter & # 39; winner of the Hong Kong Challenge Cup in 1859. Horse racing was an early arrival in the thriving settlement

Shown is the & # 39; Exeter & # 39; winner of the Hong Kong Challenge Cup in 1859. Horse racing was an early arrival in the thriving settlement

Shown is the & # 39; Exeter & # 39; winner of the Hong Kong Challenge Cup in 1859. Horse racing was an early arrival in the thriving settlement

A rural idyll next to a stream in Happy Valley. At the beginning of 1840 the British army set up a military camp in the area. However, the camp was closed later because of the increasing number of soldiers who died of malaria
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A rural idyll next to a stream in Happy Valley. At the beginning of 1840 the British army set up a military camp in the area. However, the camp was closed later because of the increasing number of soldiers who died of malaria

A rural idyll next to a stream in Happy Valley. At the beginning of 1840 the British army set up a military camp in the area. However, the camp was closed later because of the increasing number of soldiers who died of malaria

Happy Valley used to be called Wong Nai Chung Valley and the river fed the surrounding rice fields.

British troops established a military camp in the area in 1840, which was later closed due to the high number of soldiers who died of malaria.

There was a high death rate in the area during early colonial days and the valley was also used as a burial place for the dead.

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The Happy Valley racecourse was built in the valley in 1845 to allow the British to taste it at home. It was built away from the more built-up areas of the island of Hong Kong, but today it is surrounded by skyscrapers and remains a tourist attraction.

The area was previously a swamp area, but the only flat terrain suitable for horse racing on Hong Kong Island.

There are snapshots of Kowloon Ba, which is east of the Kowloon Peninsula and north of Hong Kong Island.

A photo shows & # 39; Scandal Point & # 39 ;, which got its name because the locals would gather there and gossip about city life, while another Cochrane Street records in a built-up area of ​​Cantonese residents.

It was re-zoned in 1844 under the management of Henry Pottinger to improve the hygienic condition of the water supply. The Cantonese residents were later transferred to the Tai Ping Shan area.

A rural scene in modern Kowloon, now the most populated urban area in Hong Kong, then a sparsely populated rural landscape with agricultural huts spread across the fields

A rural scene in modern Kowloon, now the most populated urban area in Hong Kong, then a sparsely populated rural landscape with agricultural huts spread across the fields

A rural scene in modern Kowloon, now the most populated urban area in Hong Kong, then a sparsely populated rural landscape with agricultural huts spread across the fields

The locals sit outside a hut in a Chinese village. Only a few thousand people lived in Hong Kong when it came under British control in 1842, but that had risen to nearly 400,000 at the start of the 20th century and seven million by the 21st

The locals sit outside a hut in a Chinese village. Only a few thousand people lived in Hong Kong when it came under British control in 1842, but that had risen to nearly 400,000 at the start of the 20th century and seven million by the 21st

The locals sit outside a hut in a Chinese village. Only a few thousand people lived in Hong Kong when it came under British control in 1842, but that had risen to nearly 400,000 at the start of the 20th century and seven million by the 21st

Residents sit outside their Chinese cabin in Hong Kong. One man looks straight into the camera, while the others have turned their heads away

Residents sit outside their Chinese cabin in Hong Kong. One man looks straight into the camera, while the others have turned their heads away

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Residents sit outside their Chinese cabin in Hong Kong. One man looks straight into the camera, while the others have turned their heads away

Thomson & # 39; s fascination for Hong Kong extended beyond the picturesque landscape to its diligent inhabitants.

He took photos of natives on a Chinese junk and in a shop with exotic items, while villagers can take a break from the work together on the street.

Locals are depicted sitting outside of Chinese huts in Hong Kong. In one image, the man looks directly at the camera while the rest of the family turns their head away.

One photo shows a Chinese store with the name & # 39; Wah Loong & # 39; who imported goods from nearby Canton, also known as Guangzhou, and sold luxury items, including silk, mourning cloths and ivory.

A Chinese store & # 39; Wah Loong & # 39; who imported goods from nearby Canton and sold silk, mourning cloths and ivory
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A Chinese store & # 39; Wah Loong & # 39; who imported goods from nearby Canton and sold silk, mourning cloths and ivory

A Chinese store & # 39; Wah Loong & # 39; who imported goods from nearby Canton and sold silk, mourning cloths and ivory

This photo shows an & # 39; joss house & # 39 ;, an ancient name for traditional Chinese temples that refers to the practice of burning incense or & # 39; joss sticks & # 39; in it. That name, in turn, is a corruption of the Latin & # 39; deus & # 39 ;, which means God

This photo shows an & # 39; joss house & # 39 ;, an ancient name for traditional Chinese temples that refers to the practice of burning incense or & # 39; joss sticks & # 39; in it. That name, in turn, is a corruption of the Latin & # 39; deus & # 39 ;, which means God

This photo shows an & # 39; joss house & # 39 ;, an ancient name for traditional Chinese temples that refers to the practice of burning incense or & # 39; joss sticks & # 39; in it. That name, in turn, is a corruption of the Latin & # 39; deus & # 39 ;, which means God

The Happy Valley racing circuit was far from the built-up area on Hong Kong Island. It was first built in 1845 to provide horse racing for the British people in Hong Kong. The area was previously a swamp area, but the only flat terrain suitable for horse racing on Hong Kong Island
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The Happy Valley racing circuit was far from the built-up area on Hong Kong Island. It was first built in 1845 to provide horse racing for the British people in Hong Kong. The area was previously a swamp area, but the only flat terrain suitable for horse racing on Hong Kong Island

The Happy Valley racing circuit was far from the built-up area on Hong Kong Island. It was first built in 1845 to provide horse racing for the British people in Hong Kong. The area was previously a swamp area, but the only flat terrain suitable for horse racing on Hong Kong Island

The photo album was compiled in the late 19th century by surgeon Dods from Hong Kong, who, like Thomson, came from Edinburgh.

Thomson's photos are sold by his descendants at the Dominic Winter auction house in South Cerney, Cirencester, and have been sold for £ 15,000.

Chris Albury, specialist at Dominic Winter, said: & # 39; Thomson spent 10 years in the Far East recording a great oeuvre, resulting in a unique record of & # 39; exotic & # 39; societies and their monuments.

& # 39; It is no wonder that these captivating images still capture the modern imagination of collectors from the west and, increasingly, the east.

& # 39; Thomson was equally skilled in portraits and landscapes, and the naturalness and beauty of his scenes and compositions make his works both attractive and expensive. & # 39;

Locals aboard a junk, a kind of Chinese sailing ship that has been used for hundreds of years. They were deployed against the British during the First Opium War that led Great Britain to take over Hong Kong

Locals aboard a junk, a kind of Chinese sailing ship that has been used for hundreds of years. They were deployed against the British during the First Opium War that led Great Britain to take over Hong Kong

Locals aboard a junk, a kind of Chinese sailing ship that has been used for hundreds of years. They were deployed against the British during the First Opium War that led Great Britain to take over Hong Kong

People walk along a street in Wanchai, once a fishing village that grew during British rule and has since become an urbanized area in northern Hong Kong Island and a popular business and entertainment center

People walk along a street in Wanchai, once a fishing village that grew during British rule and has since become an urbanized area in northern Hong Kong Island and a popular business and entertainment center

People walk along a street in Wanchai, once a fishing village that grew during British rule and has since become an urbanized area in northern Hong Kong Island and a popular business and entertainment center

Cochrane Street in Hong Kong. Cochrane Street was in the built-up area of ​​the Cantonese residents. It was re-zoned in 1844 under the management of Henry Pottinger to improve the hygienic condition of the water supply. The Cantonese residents were later transferred to the Tai Ping Shan area

Cochrane Street in Hong Kong. Cochrane Street was in the built-up area of ​​the Cantonese residents. It was re-zoned in 1844 under the management of Henry Pottinger to improve the hygienic condition of the water supply. The inhabitants of Canton were later transferred to the Tai Ping Shan area

Cochrane Street in Hong Kong. Cochrane Street was in the built-up area of ​​the Cantonese residents. It was re-zoned in 1844 under the management of Henry Pottinger to improve the hygienic condition of the water supply. The Cantonese residents were later transferred to the Tai Ping Shan area

Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain by the Qing Dynasty in 1842 in the Treaty of Nanjing, which ended the First Opium War.

It was occupied by Japan from 1941 to 1945 but otherwise remained under British rule until it was handed over to China in 1997.

The sale takes place on October 3.

The rare and fascinating images show Hong Kong in a more peaceful time, far away from the riots city of today.

Photo creates colonial-style buildings with arches and large columns in central Hong Kong

Photo creates colonial-style buildings with arches and large columns in central Hong Kong

Photo creates colonial-style buildings with arches and large columns in central Hong Kong

A British cemetery. The climate in the Far East took a heavy toll on European settlers and there was a high mortality rate in the area during early colonial days

A British cemetery. The climate in the Far East took a heavy toll on European settlers and there was a high mortality rate in the area during early colonial days

A British cemetery. The climate in the Far East took a heavy toll on European settlers and there was a high mortality rate in the area during early colonial days

Hong Kong was confronted with massive protests and civil unrest that was fueled in March by a now scrapped plan to allow extradition to the authoritarian mainland.

But they have entered a broader movement and are calling for democratic rights and police responsibility after Beijing and city leader Carrie Lam have chosen a hard line.

Pro-democracy activists have gathered thousands when the original protests turned into constant mass movements in the summer months and in the fall.

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