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Photographs Album details for shelfmark Photo 1042/

Photographs taken by Lt. Col. Sir Percy Sykes to illustrate Chinese Turkestan, the Russian Pamirs and Osh. April-November, 1915.

Photographers: Sir Percy Molesworth Sykes.
Contents: 48 prints 160x105mm Gelatin silver prints
Provenance: Transferred to OIOC Prints, Drawings and Photographs from India Office Records: file IOR/L/P&S/20/A119.
Notes: Microfilm copy of these photographs at Neg. 30538. See also Photo 1097.
Subjects:
Description: Green half-leather bound album measuring 230x297mm, in generally sound condition apart from worn and loose spine, with prints inserted two to a page in aperture mounts. The title given above is written on the front free endpaper in white ink in a very neat hand. The prints are similarly captioned.

Sir Percy Molesworth Sykes (1867-1945), was educated at Rugby School and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was gazetted in 1888 to the 16th Lancers, transferring in the same year to the 2nd Dragoon Guards. In 1893, when his regiment was in India, he made his first Persian journey, travelling from the Caspian to Kerman. In 1894 he travelled through Baluchistan and was appointed the first British Consul for Kerman and Persian Baluchistan. After working on the Persia-Baluchistan Boundary Commission in 1896, he founded in 1898 the consulate of Seistan and Kain. After service in the Second Boer war, Sykes transferred to the India Army in 1902 and in the following years made many long expeditions in Persia. He was appointed Consul-General for Khorasan in 1906 and in 1915 he served as substitute to Sir George Macartney as Consulate-General at Kashgar in Chinese Turkestan. It was during this appointment that the photographs in this album were taken. In 'Through Deserts and Oases of Central Asia' (London, 1920), his sister Ella Sykes, who co-authored the work, recounts that they started out for Kashgar on 5 March 1915. Owing to the war they were obliged to travel to Petrograd via Norway, Sweden and Finland, and then by train across Russia to Tashkent. From here they travelled on horseback to Kashgar, arriving on 10 April 1915. At the end of May, as the summer heat of Kashgar became unpleasant, the Sykes set out on a tour of the Russian Pamirs. This tour lasted until the end of July. At the begininning of September they set out once more on 'a tour which had Khotan as its goal and which was in reality a passing from oasis to oasis along the edge of the Takla Makan Desert'. This tour lasted until about 20 October. The resulting photographs are the ones seen in this album: the majority were also published in 'Through Deserts and Oases of Central Asia'.

After the return of the Macartneys in November, Sykes was transferred in 1916 to Persia where he was largely responsible for the formation of the South Persia Rifles, a force raised to replace the Persian gendarmerie, most of whom had either deserted or gone over to the enemy. Sykes left Persia at the end of the war and in 1920 retired from the army. His subsequent activities were largely devoted scholarly and included a number of historical works on Central Asia. From 1932 until his death he served as honorary secretary of the Royal Central Asian Society.

For other photographs taken by Sykes in Central Asia, see IOR/L/P&S/11/76, 1383 of 1914. These photographs are listed as Photo 1097, although they remain with the volume of records into which they are pasted alongside Sykes' report.



Album contents:-
Photo 1042/(1) The British Consulate-General, Kashgar. 
Photo 1042/(2) View across the Tuman Su from the terrace of the British Consulate-General [Kashgar]. 
Photo 1042/(3) The Tuman Su at Kashgar. 
Photo 1042/(4) A soothsayer [Kashgar]. 
Photo 1042/(5) The City Wall at Kashgar. 
Photo 1042/(6) A Kashgar school. 
Photo 1042/(7) The British Aksakals (or agents) in Chinese Turkestan [at Kashgar]. 
Photo 1042/(8) Kashgari musicians. 
Photo 1042/(9) Chinese soldiers at the feet of the War God [Kashgar]. 
Photo 1042/(10) Leading Divine, Kashgar. 
Photo 1042/(11) The Pagoda of Pan Chao, Kashgar. 
Photo 1042/(12) The City of Kashgar. 
Photo 1042/(13) Throwing mud at a shrine as a cure for skin disease [Kashgar]. 
Photo 1042/(14) Sir George Macartney and Chinese officials, Kashgar. 
Photo 1042/(15) K.B. Mullah Sahib, British Aksakal, Yarkand. 
Photo 1042/(16) The Begs of Yarkand. 
Photo 1042/(17) Yarkand musicians. 
Photo 1042/(18) A ferry on the Yarkand River. 
Photo 1042/(19) The Amban of Kargalik. 
Photo 1042/(20) The celebrated 'Pigeon Shrine' near Khotan. 
Photo 1042/(21) In the Khotan Oasis. 
Photo 1042/(22) The site of Yotkan (ancient Khotan). 
Photo 1042/(23) Hunting eagles of Merkit. 
Photo 1042/(24) A Dulani Beg of Merkit. 
Photo 1042/(25) Chinese troops at Khotan. 
Photo 1042/(26) Tungani General, Khotan. 
Photo 1042/(27) A Tungani Shaikh. 
Photo 1042/(28) Osman Beg of Bulunkal. 
Photo 1042/(29) The Chinese garrison of Bulunkul. 
Photo 1042/(30) Kirghiz women in gala dress. 
Photo 1042/(31) Loading up in the Pamirs. 
Photo 1042/(32) Russian officials (with Pamirski Post [Murgab] in the background). 
Photo 1042/(33) Bringing in an Ovis Poli. 
Photo 1042/(34) Hunting dogs in the Pamirs. 
Photo 1042/(35) Tashkurgan Fort in the Sarikol Valley. 
Photo 1042/(36) Nasir Ali Khan, a leading 'Muki' of Sarikol (A 'Muki' is a leader of the Aga Khan Sect). 
Photo 1042/(37) Sarikoli dancers. 
Photo 1042/(38) A distant view of Muztagh Ata. 
Photo 1042/(39) A glacier from the Muztagh Ata. 
Photo 1042/(40) The Little Kara Kul Lake. 
Photo 1042/(41) The mle. The game of baghi of 'Hunt the Goat.' 
Photo 1042/(42) A successful pick-up [game of baghi or baigu, Tagharma]. 
Photo 1042/(43) The victor [game of baghi or baigu, Tagharma]. 
Photo 1042/(44) The Ulugh Art Glacier. 
Photo 1042/(45) A Ya-Yieh or Yamen runner. 
Photo 1042/(46) A serai on the Osh-Kashgar road. 
Photo 1042/(47) The Tian Shan range from the west. 
Photo 1042/(48) A cart in the Osh Oasis. 


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