Where: No trouble identifying where this one was taken, but as we'll see later, pinning down the date is a bit more tricky.
What: The left edge of the seafront looks rather blurry, but we can just see the white tower of the Gloucester Building, peeping over the old General Post Office.
Move across to the 'u' in the watermark where we come to the first of two junks under sail, and just to its right is the blocky Fire Station building:
Below the 'o' there's one of the old passenger ferries sailing along. No sign of any star on its funnel, so this is one of Hong Kong & Yaumatei Ferry's boats.
A bit further across to the 'c' and you'll notice a small white building, with a pier in front and a ship tied up alongside. Maps from the time  describe it as the "Osaka Shosen Kaisha Wharf", and pre-war photos show the building marked "O.S.K' :
Next comes the second junk. Look at the top of the sail, and follow the line of the top spar, pointing to 2 o'clock. You should see a building with a dome at one end of the roof, and two round towers. That's the Ohel Leah Synagogue on Robinson Road, which is still standing today:
Scroll back across to the left, admiring all those mid-levels buildings with their unobstructed sea views, til you come to this building:
It was built as Sir Paul Chater's residence, and he knew it as Marble Hall. Chater's will granted the building to the government, though his wife continued living there until her death in 1935. After that it became Admiralty House. And since no sailor could feel at ease without a mast nearby, you'll see the main photo above shows they'd put one up in the garden.
Who: There's no-one to see in the photo, but for a change we know a little about the person who bought it:
When: So when was the photo taken?
The back of the postcard suggests 1948, but I'm not so sure...
See the junks' sails? They look brand new. In 1948, Hong Kong was still recovering from wartime, and resources were tight. In other photos I've seen from this time, a junk's sails typically looked like a patchwork quilt, and often had as much hole as sail!
Next, look back at the OSK wharf, and from the funnel marking , it looks like an OSK ship is tied up there. But Osaka Shosen Kaisha was a Japanese shipping line. I don't think they'd have had a business in Hong Kong so soon after the war.
I found a Hedda Morrison photo  that shows a similar view, and is known to date from 1946-7. At first I couldn't find anything conclusive, but compare these views of the slopes above the Botanical Gardens, top shows this photo, bottom shows the Hedda Morrison photo:
Look at the number of empty plots in Morrison's photo, where there were still buildings in the top photo. Also note the tower that stood next to the Roman Catholic Cathedral, complete in the top photo, but missing its roof in the Morrison photo.
All the signs point to a date before the fighting in Hong Kong, probably around 1940.
Which raises another question - where did these postcards came from after the war? Did the photographers manage to keep a stash of negatives safe throughout the occupation? Any ideas?
- 'Mapping Hong Kong' book, Plate 3-5a.
- Funnel markings for OSK: http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/osk.htm
- Hedda Morrison photo in Harvard-Yenching Library, ref: olvwork351228