A group of Chinese men having a break, Hong Kong, ca. 1910

Wed, 11/25/2020 - 17:28

Charles Gesner van der Voort (1916-1991) worked at Holland-China Trading Company (HCHC). HCHC had offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tientsin (Tianjin), Rotterdam and London. Director at the head office in Rotterdam was Willem Kien, who worked in Hong Kong and Shanghai for the firm. He made this photo.

These men look like they are taking a break to enjoy their food. The person with the large round hat could be a woman. Looking at the clothing and vegetation, it is probably spring or summer.

Courtesy Kien family archives

Date picture taken


An observation. The wearing of caps was not popular in Hong Kong. Chinese hats, conical hats, western hats etc. were more common to see in old photographs.

Thank you for your observation moddsey. Other photographs from this period were made in Hong Kong, e.g. the following:

A 1909 dated photo of Braeside https://gwulo.com/atom/31833

A 1910 dated photo of British Military Hospital https://gwulo.com/atom/32500

As the men wear tails at the photo of the Chinese men having a break, this must be 1910 by the latest and that is why I thought it to be from the time he worked in Hong Kong.

It possible however, he made this photo during one of his travels along the China coast.