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Image ID17617
TitleGeneral view of the Bund (painting) - 1879
CollectionVirtual Shanghai
LocationShanghai IS
Estimated date1879
Image typePainting
Material form
of image
Note(s)This final painting is painted with the buildings of the Bund only occupying a small strip between river and sky. Nonetheless, the development over the ten years since the prior painting reveals a new 'second generation’ of Shanghai construction. To access the full text, click on the link below. At the north end of the Bund, a new public garden is visible with a white pagoda in its center. The lack of mature trees, however, reveals the relative youth of this park built on reclaimed riverbed. Likewise in another act of civic beautification, the initial plantings of trees are just barely visible where the Bund meets the river. The first change is the new building on the empty land owned by the P. & O. Company. While the P & O flag is still flying over the building, they shared the premises with the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China. Another new construction visible in this 1879 painting are the two twin buildings constructed by David Sassoon on the northwest corner of Nanking Road. These buildings occupied all of the previously open space between the Augustus Heard & Co. building and Nanking Road itself. Opposite the new Sassoon structures, the old HSBC building had been turned into (with what looks like the addition of a third floor) the Central Hotel. Neighboring the Central Hotel to the south, the new Oriental Bank building, constructed in a renaissance-style and sporting a belfry, stands as the tallest structure on its block. On the northwest corner of Hankow Road, the new Dent & Co. building looks about double the size of the structure that formally stood there and is now taller than the Customs House across the street. On the south side of the Customs House, the new Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank building has taken over Turner & Co.'s lot. On the river, with the exception of one American vessel, all of the larger ships whether steam-powered ferries or sail-rigged warships fly the British flag. The Bund itself is shown as a hive of activity, with clusters of small boats around each of the wharves along the entire length of the Bund. Interestingly, the artist also included five de-masted ships docked against the Bund, these opium ships, most likely opium dens, are indicative of a very lucrative source of income for some Shanghainese during the period after the opium wars.
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