Chinese New Year

8 February 2016 marks the start of Chinese New Year. This year it is the year of the Monkey, the ninth animal of the twelve animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac.

MS 62 MB2/A20 Hong Kong: ‘Street decorations for Chinese New Year’, 1881

MS 62 MB2/A20 Hong Kong: ‘Street decorations for Chinese New Year’, 1881

Within the Broadlands Archives at the University of Southampton is a photograph album documenting the journey of Prince Louis of Battenberg on board HMS Inconstant that includes a visit to the Far East over Chinese New Year. Prince Louis of Battenberg (1854-1921), later Louis Mountbatten, first Marquis of Milford Haven, enrolled in the Royal Navy at the age of 14 years of age. He served in the navy for over forty years, rising to the rank of admiral and being appointed as First Sea Lord of the Admiralty in 1912.

In August 1880, the then Lieutenant Prince Louis, was posted to HMS Inconstant which was the flagship of the Flying Squadron. The ship undertook a circumnavigation of the world, sailing to South America, South Africa, Australia, South Africa, Australia, Fiji, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and what was then known as Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), before returning to South Africa in April 1882. Prince Louis’ photograph album contains a fascinating visual record of all of the places visited. The images from China provide a glimpse not only of the streets, gardens and architecture of Shanghai and Amoy (now Xiamen), but of the population, customs and modes of transport.

MS 62 Broadlands Archive MB2/A20 ‘Chinese cab’, 1881

MS 62 Broadlands Archive MB2/A20 ‘Chinese cab’, 1881

We wish you health and prosperity for 2016 and 恭禧發財

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s