SCHRÖDER photography collectiOn (1870-1942)

J.S Schröder, born in Calcutta in 1870 as a wealthy merchant family member. Art lover, he studied at the Academy of Munich, when he discovered his artistic talent was not enough, he decided to follow the family tradition and he established as a businessman in Shanghai where he ran his own company.

Cosmopolite and great passionate for spiritual development of human beings, was a follower of Swami Bhaskarananda in Benares, who introduced him to the spiritual world of East Asia. Years later, he would become an active member in the Anthroposophical Society.

In more than 50 years of travel in Japan, China, Tibet, Ceylon, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, Syria, Canada, USA and Europe , he compiled a curiousyin and in large part unpublished photographic collection, composed of copies made by photographers as : Falsari, Baduin, Felice Beato, Ueno Hikoma, Tamamura Kozaburu, Kusakabe Kimbei, Uchida Kuichi Ogawa Kazumasa,, Usui Shuzaburo, Suzuki Shin Chin y Stillfried & Andersen in Japon, Samuel Bourne in India, Alfred Noak in Italy, Scoven & co in Sri Lanka o Zamgaki brothers in Egypt among others.

His personal way was marked by the colonialist and imperialist period and was an eyewitness of two world wars, a time certainly complicated, full of big changes and movements at a global level, this gives an undeniable documentary, anthropological, archaeological and architectural value to this collection.

Colonial period

We have discovered around 350 images with a more personal character taken personally by Schröder or someone close to him. with very interesting portraits and private events, some reflect the lifestyle of the settlers in a more intimate way, others give almost journalistic testimony of the Shanghai revolution of 1911 and others are full of portraits of the main European personalities of the time, main actors of political and military activity such as Arthur Zimmerman strolling in Hangchow village (China), (Zimmerman telegram) , Consul General Dr. Knappe, Admiral Felix von Bendeman, or Commander Schellhas.

Schröder & Steiner

When he returned to Germany definitely and before taking a position in the Ministry of Foreign office in Berlin , he tooke a trip trought Europe with his wife, In the dining car of Orient-Express, on Vienna-Paris route, a man of particular aspect and strongly emanation attracted the attention the Schröders

Some years later his growing passion for anthroposophy led him to arrange an interview with Rudolf Steiner in Berlin, Schröder could recognize him as the unknown man on the train. Since then they were created personal and professional ties coming to establish commercial food company together "Ceres". Later when Schröder took over the Treasury of the Anthroposophical Society Bremen´s branch, couples´s residence in that city became home to Stainer for long periods and in 1910, Steiner and Schröder along with seven other members of anthroposophical Bremen society , began a series of conferences throughout Germany, this was surely one of the most powerful time in the life of the branch.

The Collection

The collection is being inventoried. The photographs are collected in ten albums containing a total of 1475 images and 279 images in loose sheets. Most of them have been stuck to paper of albums, and in some cases the slot corners system is used.

History & Time

The state of conservation is generally good, as can be seen in the rough and ready scans, however it would be very advisable to proceed with conservation efforts to avoid image degradation, in some cases the silver halides begin to show investment signs within the limits of the images.

This file has not yet been expertized. At first glance the photos taken personally by Schröder seems silver chloride copies and photos acquired, albumen prints and hand-colored, phototypes.

Hand-colored was a widespread practice especially in Japan. The authorship of some images is proving difficult to determine because some of the negatives were probably made, exchanged or purchased between photographers. We have seen so far, many images appear in albums signed as their on for multiple photographers. Making special albums on demand for foreign customers it seems common practice at the time.


Individual sheets dimensions // 30x40 cm


// Charles T. Scowen // Scoven & Co // Bourne & Shepered // Zangaki Brothers // Plate & Co // Unknow // Ernest Thompson Seton // W.M. Notman & son // Lai Afong // William Sanders // Anon// Apothecaries Company // Westminster Tobacco Co Ltd //

Japanesse Photographers : // Adolfo Farsari // Kusakabe Kimbei // Ogawa Kazumasa // Felice Beato // Kozaburo Tamamura // Usui Hidesaburo // Ferrari // Suzuki Shin Chin // Yokoyama Matsusaburo // Reiji Esaki // Shimooka Renjo// Ueno Hikoma

290 Albumen photographs mounted on neutral gray and sienna clear cardboard,(glued),most of them with an image format of 20x25cm, almost half hand colored especially the Japan and India pictures, some images of Japan display four photographs in the same sheet in smaller format 10 x13cm for a single face, in good condition.

In Japan the photographs present places and portraits taken in Nikko, Yokohama. Kyoto , Kamakura. Yamanashi and Hakone, taken by the following photographers :// Adolfo Farsari // Kusakabe Kimbei // Ogawa Kazumasa // Felice Beato // Kozaburo Tamamura // Usui Hidesaburo // Ferrari // Suzuki Shin Chin // Yokoyama Matsusaburo // Reiji Esaki // Shimooka Renjo// Ueno Hikoma .The India´s photographs was taken in Agra, Delhi, Lucknow, Jeypore, Benares, Calcuta and Bombay, showing stamps of Panch Mahal, Chandri Chow market, Hussainabad Imambara Mosque, Qutub Minar, Elefanta Island, Benares Bisharnat, Bengal Village, Rajah Potia temple and Shah Majal. this images was taken by Bourne & Shepered and Apothecaries' Company There is also twenty one photographs of Sri Lanka showing Colombo, Kandy and Ceylan , mainly showing images taken around the tea industry, local population in villages as people working in rice field with water buffalo or special events as the Perahera, an annual buddhist procession. Also we can see ways with giant bamboo, the Colombo coast, and great portraits taken by Scoven & Co. authors of most Sri Lanka images , the others was made by //Westminster Tobacco Co Ltd and // Plate & Co. Eighty four photographs was taken in China by // Lai Afong // William Sanders // Anon in places as Hong kong , Shanghai, Anji, Mintur, Běijīng, Nanking, Guangzhou and Hakone. The eleven pictures taken in Eeuu & Canada by Ernest Thompson Seton and Notman & son. present Niágara waterfalls, Blackfeet campsite, the railway Canadian Pacific or Rocky mountains and to close this set of individual sheets, we find fourteen photographs from Egypt made for // Zangaki Brothers about Port Said , the warrior Nubio portraits , workers watering the banks of the Nile, Riding the donkey in desert a camel caravan or two mans crossing the Nile into trunks, as well two lovers in Egypt.


Album dimensions // 35 X 45 X 6 cm


// Samuel Bourne // Shepered // Felice Beato // Robertson // // Henri Bechard // Edmund David Lyon // Lala Deen Dayal // Felix Bonfils // Pascal Sebah // Rhomaides Constantino

The album has 134 albumen photographs mainly taken in India ca 1864 by Samuel Bourne , in places such as: Calcuta , Lucknow, Agra, Pradesh, Amritsur , Rajputana,Tamil Nadu. Guyarat, Rajasthan, Bombay, Cashmere, Butias, Delhi and Benares. They present many portraits as Sir Jung Bahadur and his three preferred women, The Maharaja Scindhia Of Gwalior With State Officials, or Muslim lawyers meeting, and emblematic buildings and places such as general views of Ganges, St Paul Cathedral , Hussainnabad Gateway , Old Linost Ruins Near Delhi 1800 A.C. people in small villages, bazar´s scenes and some views the effects off the Calcutta´s Cyclone in1864 . There are one image of fighters in Kyber pass in Afganistan by Shepered , ten of them were taken in Baalbek , Lebanon at the Baal Temple including the Big Stones by Felix Bonfils, eight others in Jericho, Jerusalem taken by Felix Bonfils and Pascal Sebah as Aksa Mezquita, Davids Tower in Jaffa City, the painful way, the arch of Pilatus , the garden of Gethsemane, The Birth Church in Belem and the Elisa´s Fountain. In Egypt showing Sphinx and Piramides by Henri Bechard, Felix Bonfils and Pascal Sebah. Also Suez canal, Cairo city and Alexandria´s Obelisk, (now in London). We can view ten photographs more of Greece possibly taken by Rhomaides Constantino in Athenas around the Acropolis showing Dyonysius tomb, Jupiter Temple, Parthenon and the arch of Hadrian at Olympicon. The images format is mixed from 20x25 to 13x18 cm. The images are glued to sienna clear carton, and the state of conservation although it differs among the photographers is generally good.


Album dimensions // 27 X 38 X 2 cm


In the 136 photographs found in album II there are fourteen images of Kioto in Japan all of them hand colored ,this pictures shows scenes as the inside area in Chionin´s buddhist temple and its gate, Giant Buddha “Nara Daibutsu”, Kiyomizu Temple, or big room of Hongwanji. Are also found 120 imágenes of the Schroder boat trip on ”Prinz Heinrich" to Shanghai showing the journey scenes, life on board, portraits with his wife , intermedium stop off and the ports and villages near this harbors. Also seven from Italy, as Vila Nazionale, Basilica Francesco di Paola and Virgilio´s tomb in Napoli.In most cases the size of the photographs is 10 x 13 cm, and there are seven pictures in 28 x 21,7 cm format. In this album the images are not glued, the system of slots in corners is used.


Album dimensions // 27 X 38 X 2 cm



This album present 114 photographs of Shanghai in China, there are twenty two images of commercial windows and chinese billboards, curious street scenes, thirteen photographs of 1911 Shanghai´s Revolution, including a car on fire, people running, damages inside homes some buildings and a cadaver. Also ten images more showing Shanghai´s street flooded. We can find also eight images taken in Lyceum Theater of Shanghai , two more of the foundation stone of the German club "Concordia" by Prince Adalbert from Prussia in1904, three others of Viel Consul wedding with portraits of politicians, military and celebrities of the time. Ten Scenes of the burial of the Mother of Pau Ching Po who was Chinese businessman, active member of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and an acknowledged leader in the business life of China’s commercial metropolis, He was engaged as compradore* of Jardine, Matheson and Company, Ltd.founded in China in 1832 and that is today a diversified business group. We can find also twelve pictures of the Shanghai harbor with military ships and Shanghai generals views , forty eight photographs are still unidentified. The photographs sizes are mixed and there are some panoramic format. Below some pictures appear a few comments in german written by hand with pencil. There are some photos glued to the leaves of the album, the paperboard is sienna clear color, although in most cases the images are mounted using the slots system. The state of conservation is generally good.

“ compradore* = is a "person who acts as an agent for foreign organizations engaged in investment, trade, or economic or political exploitation"


Album dimensions // 27 X 38 X 2 cm


Shanghai - Huangpu river- Moganshan - Hangshow

165 photographs taken in Shanghai in this album, this pictures present Schorder´s interior and exterior house views, many colonialist familiar scenes, also a trip with friends through the big Huangpu river towards small town of Moganshan, Hangshow city and Huangpu river between Shanghai and Moganshan with portraits of peasant and riverside rural populations, small villages, landscapes and bridges in this way. Twenty-eight of these images are being investigated at the moment. Six images are 28 x 21,5 cm each, the other one have smaller format between 10 x 13 and 12 x 15 cm, some are captioned in German with pencil. The album is sewn by hand, the inside back cover is slightly detached in the inner part in the first and last sheet of the album, all the images are subject using the system of corners slots, the paper is clear sienna color and the state of conservation is good in general although it differs between photos with different origin.


Album dimensions // 35 X 45 X 6 cm


Shanghai, Chungking , Hangchow. Pekin

// Thomas Child

This album with 119 China photographs contains two portraits of Arthur Zimmermann who was State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the German empire, his name is associated with the Zimmermann telegram, that proposed a military alliance between Germany and Mexico during World War I, this telegram helped to generate support for the United States declaration of war on Germany. However, he was closely involved in plans to support rebellions in Ireland and in India, and to assist the Bolsheviks to undermine Tsarist Russia. In this portraits Zimmerman is walking with friends in chinese city of Hang Chow a small village at this time, which currently has eleven millions population. We can also find here pictures of Confucius temple in Chungking Wantou Falls, aboriginals Cave Dwellings, Jangtsé river, streets, pagodas and House Boat Trip to the Tahir Lake. Also a tennis court in Shanghai, Ploetz travelling boat in the Min River and German oarsman (rower) win the International 1896. Only three images are signed by the photographer, this pictures are different shots of Observatory Bronze Instruments in Pekin taken by Thomas Child. More or less half of all images has a 28 x 21,5 cm, the rest of photos has a mixed sizes between 10,5 X 15 -12 X 10 and 11 X 7,5 cm. The album is in good state of conservation with some use marks, there are slicks in some photos, as to the images, show different states of conservation depending on the techniques used.


Album dimensions // 27 X 38 X 2 cm



The seventy three photographs in this album have smaller dimensions than 13x18 cm. Fifteen present photographs taken in Imperial Mausoleum Xiaoling in Nanjing. The others one show public works possibly related to the army, most of the images in this album are still being inventoried. All photographs have a image size smaller than 12 x 15 cm. The images are subject using the system of corners slots, the paperboard is clear sienna color.


Album dimensions // 27 X 38 X 2 cm


The album VII is full of images illustrating the customs & life style of settlers at this time at Shanghai. There are many photographs of horse hunting (widescreen size), Horse Races, a Military parade also some portraits, both, chinese and settlers. To complete this album we can see three photographs from Japan showing a general view of Otsu, Sarasawa and Kasuga temple in Nara. This three last are hand colored with dimensions of 28 x 21,5. The panoramic images are 13 x 20 cm, and the rest of them ranging from 28 x 21,5 to 10 x 13 cm. The images are subject using the system of corners slots, the paperboard is clear sienna color.


Album dimensions // 35 X 45 X 6 cm


// By Le Munyon Photo // by Zangaki // By Alfred Noak

In Album VIII there are 58 images from Nanjing, China in Imperial Mausoleum Xiaoling, Tombs, giant stone statues in sacred way with animals, warriors, wise and mythological figures, the temples and main avenues, also traditional chinese constructions in the surroundings of Nanjing, some images are signed by Le Munyon photo, a panoramic landscape hand colored included . Also in this album we can see eighth photographs taken in Kobe, Japan of shinto temple of Kasuga Taisha, Four in Qatar ( Egypt ) by Zangaki brothers showing Port Said and some great portraits. In Yemen there are four photographs of Citadel of Aden. To finish this album we find seven images about Genova in Italy taken by Alfred Noak in Via Garibaldi and general views of Lácquasola, Sta Brigida and Da Carignano. In Germany & Austria the photographs show mountains in Baviera and Allgaeu near the border between Austria and Germany. The hinge of the album is detached and some images show advanced wear, stains and a bit of dirt. The cardboard is clear sienna color.


Album dimensions // 3O X 40 X 3 cm


181 Europe Photographs (Between 1896 y 1904), including forty-six photographs taken in Italy in places as Liguria, Lombardy, Geneva, Mendelpass, Bolzano, Portofino and Milan. Five pictures from Niza, Cannes and Villa Mortola near Mentone in France. Nine of Montecarlo in Monaco. Twenty-eight taken in the lake area in Switzerland with images of Sils Maria Lake and landscapes, Cavaloccia lake in Glaciar Forno, Silvaplana lake in Grisones and five in Austrian Tirol. There are forty-eight photographs of Germany as Castle de Wartburg in Turingia, Spa town of Aquistan, the Pyrmont, the Castle in Waldeck, Einoedsbach, Oberammergau in Baviera, Freiberg lake in Sajonia, St. Peter Colonia´s Cathedral and Nuremberg, also two images of Amberes in Belgium and twenty one photographs from Denmark, a few Copenhague general views, the harbor, Frideriksborg Castle, Rosenborg-Slot , and theand the Kronorg´s Castle in Helsignor: Some reproductions of art pieces from Thorwaldsen museum and Old & New Glyptothek such as Ganimedes Statue, Jason with golden fleece an Mercur brings Bacchus to Ino. To complete this album we found seven photographs of the Winchester Cathedral, Trafalgar square and Ludgate Hill in London and other small villages as Shanklin, Ventnor and Bonnchurch in England.

The photographs are glued to the album pages all them captioned in German in cardboard with ink showing indications for place or date, some present negative marks or annotations with letterpress in the image. 31 images size is between 28 x 21,5 to 20.5 x 15,5 and the other Photographs are 16 x 9,5 cm to 11 x 7,5. Cover album and leaf corners slightly worn. Overall in good condition. The cardboard is clear sienna color.


Album dimensions // 36 X 28 X 2cm


This collection includes an album about the Norddeutsche Missionsgesellschaft founded in Bremen in 1819, located in Africa (Togo) and still active despite the strong colonial conflict happened. The mission board offered this pictures showing the scope of daily works as a tribute to Schröder father´s as a president and facilitator of continued economic contributions that helped greatly to build the social an cultural atmosphere in this place. There are 42 images with 12 x 17cm and three portraits of the mission management team. The images shows scenes of everyday life, evolution in constructions work and Togo´s people portraits .The photographs are glued to the album pages all captioned in German in neutral gray cardboard with ink. The inventory list is now waiting translation.


Schöeder Collection

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