Tuck's postcards of Hong Kong | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Tuck's postcards of Hong Kong

When I visit the UK I try to match it with the dates of a postcard fair or two, to see if I can find any Hong Kong scenes. In last month's visit I went along to a fair at Woking, and as I walked around I heard lots of buyers and sellers say this was the first event they'd attended since lockdown. I was lucky!

Woking postcard fair


On one stand I found these three postcards for sale:

1. "Hongkong - A portable groceteria" - though I think he's selling snacks rather than groceries.

Hongkong - A portable groceteria


2. "Hongkong - Cigarettes - Perched for sale"

Hongkong - Cigarettes - Perched for sale


3. "Hongkong - The Lichee Hawker". If you zoom in, the man in the centre background appears to have gained sainthood, as he is sporting a halo. He's selling from a round, flat tray, which I guess he carried on his head - hence the cloth 'halo' as support.

Hongkong - The Lichee Hawker


The three cards all have the same printing on the back:

Back of Tuck's Postcard


The text 'Hong Kong Series D' means they were taken for and sold at the British Empire Exhibition held in 1924 and 1925.

If readers have other copies of these cards, does anyone have one with a Hong Kong postmark? I'm curious to know whether the cards were only sold in the UK, or if shops in Hong Kong sold them too.


Further reading:

The publisher, Raphael Tuck & Sons, was a huge manufacturer of cards - not just postcards, they are also credited with popularising the idea of sending Christmas cards. The company was in business for almost 100 years, and amassed a wonderful collection of paintings and photographs. Sadly their office was one of the London buildings destroyed in a 1940 German bombing raid. Over 40,000 paintings and photographs went up in smoke. (Read more about the history of Raphael Tuck & Sons.)

Though the originals are gone, their printed cards had been sent around the world, and many have survived. The excellent website https://tuckdbpostcards.org/ is gathering as many as possible and making them available to view online. eg you can visit the site to see the full six-card set of Hong Kong Series D, browse over 170 of their Hong Kong postcards, or search for postcards of other places and categories.

You might also be interested to learn more about the British Empire Exhibition. I didn't realise that the famous old Wembley Stadium was actually built as part of this exhibition, and was originally named the Empire Stadium.



Not sure it its an oversight but your highlighted link above to "The British Empire Exhibition"  leads us to a yet to be created Wikipedia page .

There are several photos already uploaded on the Gwulu site that are related to the exhibition and Hong Kong's participation.

There are a couple showing models of Hong Kong's shipbuilding yards here:

https://gwulo.com/atom/35780    and here      https://gwulo.com/atom/37083

And I will post another couple of images soon, including a map showing the location of the Hong Kong pavilion on the exhibition site.

The Jamie Carstairs collection also has a good photograph of the pavilion on the Univ. of Bristol "Historical Photograpghs" website at 



Illustrated Map of the British Empire Exhibition - London  1924
Illustrated Map of the British Empire Exhibition - London 1924
Aerial Photo - British Empire Exhibition - Hong Kong Pavilion
Aerial Photo - British Empire Exhibition - Hong Kong Pavilion, by Chinarail


Hong Kong Pavilion- British Empire Exhibition
Hong Kong Pavilion- British Empire Exhibition

 There is also a short YouTube video presentaion about this exhibition by Dr. Gary Wong Pui-fung of the Univ. of Hong Kong  ( LINK HERE )

The correct link is this one: British Empire Exhibition - Wikipedia