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John Thomson 
Canton (Guangzhou), Kwangtung province, China: a boatwoman 
1869-1872 
  
Glass photonegative, wet collodion, stereograph 
Wellcome Collection 
Wellcome Library no. 19616i, System no. .b11774940, Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions, ttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 
  
 
LL/86643 
  
Bears Thomson's negative number: "686a"
 
A young woman wearing a headscarf, seated in front of a plain backdrop. The same as Thomson's negative number 686, probably one half of a stereo pair. The same woman as in Thomson's negative number 675, but wearing a different headscarf
 
The backdrop here is particularly plain, setting off the simple headscarf and costume the woman is wearing. The sparkle in her eyes shows she is completely at ease. During his visit to Guangzhou and Hong Kong, the photographer John Thomson had encountered a number of boatwomen, and was greatly attracted by their natural beauty. According to him, they never used makeup and always dressed simply; they were the prettiest and most attractive-looking women he had came across in southern China. 
 

 
  
 
  
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