Last week my aunt informed me that she and my uncle had found in their garage some old Hong Kong prints my grandparents had given them decades ago. They had never framed these pictures and were all too happy to hand them over to me.
And of course I was excited to see–and own–them. What could they look like? I hoped they weren’t oil paintings one would find in tourist traps on the Peak. But my aunt said prints, not paintings. So I held out hope.
Sure enough they were reproductions of old prints from Hong Kong soon after it became a colony. Here’s the Lieutenant Governor’s residence from 1846.
And this one is Wellington Street from 1850.
There was a third print, which my grandma already gave me. I guess she bought more than one of these. The Hong Kong harborfront from 1860 was a far cry from what it is now.
I learned more about this painting from the envelope in which the prints were packaged.
It might be difficult to read on these prints, but they cost HK$3.00. I’m not sure if my grandparents bought these before the Hong Kong dollar was pegged to the US one (around 1972), but in today’s currency conversion, these prints would cost US 30 cents.