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Old Kunming: Family portrait

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Editor's note: GoKunming is publishing photos from the collection of Auguste François (1857-1935), who served as French consul in south China between 1896 and 1904, during which he spent several years in Kunming. The photos have been provided by Kunming resident and private collector Yin Xiaojun (殷晓俊). GoKunming thanks Yin Xiaojun for providing us a glimpse of Yunnan at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Year: 1903
Subject: Unknown family
Location: Unknown location in Kunming


The above photograph was taken in 1903 and is one of Auguste François' last photos taken in Kunming. It features three generations of a Kunming aristocrat family in their own courtyard home. Less detailed than usual, François' Kunming journal did not mention the family's surname.

It is thought that the man in the center is the patriarch, the woman in the center his mother, the woman next to her his wife and the other women his concubines. This is one of the earliest family portraits taken in this part of the world.

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