Panoramic View of the Bund Shanghai. August 1929.
7.5 x 51.5 in (19.05 x 130.81 cm)
A stunning large-format 1929 panoramic photographic view of the Shanghai Bund. The view looks on the Bund from Pudong, on the east side of the Huangpu River. The Bund, at the time, was the heart of the Shanghai International Settlement, a consolidated extraterritorial zone administered by a British dominated council. This image captures Shanghai at the height of its pre-war glory, when it was a haven in the midst of social and political strife, a hub of vice and crime, and a global trade center.
The BundThe Bund is a waterfront area in central Shanghai. The name is derived from the old German term, 'bund,' meaning simply embankment or causeway. Many Asian colonial cities supported a Bund, but none became more famous or iconic than the Shanghai Bund. The area centers on the section of Zhongshan Road within the former Shanghai International Settlement, which runs along the western bank of the Huangpu River, facing Pudong, in the eastern part of Huangpu District. The Bund usually refers to the buildings and wharves on this section of the road, as well as some adjacent area. It is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Shanghai and a designated historic zone.
Lining the Huangpu River, the Shanghai Bund has dozens of historical buildings that once housed important banks and trading housing from the United Kingdom, France, United States, Italy, Russia, Germany, Japan, Netherlands and Belgium, as well as the consulates of Russia and Britain, a newspaper, the Shanghai Club and the Masonic Club. The Bund lies north of the old walled city of Shanghai and was initially a British settlement. A building boom at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century led to the Bund becoming the major financial hub of East Asia. The former French Bund, east of the walled city was formerly more a working harbor.
Shanghai in the 1920sThe 1920s were a golden age for Shanghai. While China was ruled by Chiang Kai-shek, Shanghai was dominated by several consolidated foreign trade Concessions. Under the strict administrative control of the Concessions, the city became a cosmopolitan haven in the midst of political unrest and a center for global trade and finance. The Concessions occupied what is today central Shanghai's most desirable land, hugging the Huangpu River and Wusong River (Suzhou Creek). These extraterritorial European, Japanese, and American enclaves had elegant housing, fine roads, streetcars, elegant shops, clubs, and more. It was a place of excess, art, and extravagance, where fortunes could be made by the enterprising - and lost by the foolish. Moreover, lacking the moral constrains that limited social life in Europe and America, Shanghai became nexus for the opium trade, sexual excess, gambling, and other vices. This ephemeral world come crashing down on January 28, 1932, when the Shanghai Incident or January 28 Incident pitted the Republic of China against the Empire of Japan. Responding to Chinese student protests against the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, the Japanese Navy bombarded Shanghai. Chiang Kai-shek sent the Chinese army in to defend the Shanghai students, threatening to escalate the conflict. The League of Nations, fearing all-out war, united to demand a ceasefire, which was signed. Nonetheless, most consider The January 28 incident to be the opening salvo of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1938 - 1945) which ultimately merged into World War II.
Publication History and CensusThis view is rare and we are aware of only one other example, in a Chinese private collection.