Saturday, 28 December 2019

The Banks of the River Elbe

On the banks of the River Elbe, in the western suburbs of Hamburg, lies the prosperous district of Blankenese. It was here that the wealthy shipowners of the city had their homes. Here too was the family home of fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. His father was an importer but moved to the country when the National Socialist Government came to power. Lagerfeld returned to Blankenese in 1991 when he purchased a luxury villa.

The River is the route from the great docks of the northern city, to the North Sea and ships are constantly passing.

Not far from the Blankeneser Kirche, the parish church, was a kindergarten, the responsibility in 1960 of Pastor Georg Plattenkreig. It was the Pastor's idea that the children should have a donkey and "Mufti" soon arrived to graze the grass of a small park on the river foreshore. The children were thrilled and the good natured ass put up with being petted, cuddled and even pulled by the tail. In return "Mufti" was constantly fed apples and other treats. The donkey would often escape and it  Pastor Plate's son who would have to search for him, usually on the Blankeneser Hauptstraße, the High Street. In time "Mufti" became more and more agressive. Despite assurances that the donkey was a gelding, he was seeking female company.  Although the smaller children became afraid of him, they never came to harm. When the Bishop came to visit Provost Hasselmann, he insisted on seeing the animal. The two churchmen entered the park but "Mufti", seeing the the black cloaked figures gave chase. The Bishop being quite agile managed to escape, but the Provost had to hide in a bush until the donkey calmed down. Mufti's fate was sealed and he was dispatched in disgrace to a donkey farm on Lüneburg Heath. Here, his female companions found him quite attractive and several foals were sired by the supposed gelding.

Blankeneser Hauptstraße begins near the Stranweg Ferry Landing and winds its way up the steep hillside, doubling back on itself at a higher level. The higher the road climbs, the larger and grander are the villas that line the narrow street. These were once the homes of shipowners or merchants. Many of the former residents were Jewish and their houses are marked by plaques set in the pavement in memory of their fate. The photograph below was by Dorit Vrolijk and shows the lower part of Blankeneser Hauptstraße in 1890.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Modern Sketch - 时代漫画

The monthly Chinese magazine 时代漫画 / Modern Sketch was published for just 39 issues from January 1934.  This was an art, humour and satire periodical published in Shanghai and was highly regarded for the quality of its content especially the cover illustrations reproduced below. The readerrship was largely male and the mildly erotic illustrations reflected this.

      Cover of the first issue January 1934 by Zhang Guangyu

  February 1934, illustrated by Ye Qianyu

             Compassion for the World” The Pope: "The Lord Shall Provide"

        Chen Juanyin, “China’s Characters Who Count”

             Chen Paixi, 
“Official Malfeasance among the Cantonese Gentry”

   Chinese opera character drawn by a child (Chen Keyan) for this 1935 cover

      Crespi Zhang Guangyu’s cheerful January 1935 contribution commemorated the Republican government’s Year of Children

 Hu Kao, “The Perfect Life of Leisure!”

— Ain’t no time for learning in the gusty old fall,
Woo woo...chee chee...a shoo shoo shoo...
— Ain’t no time for books in the warm and breezy spring,Pa pa...doo doo...a go go go
— Ain’t no time for homework in the scorching summer,Wah wah...lah lah...a yeah yeah yeah
— Ain’t no time to study on those chilly winter nights,
Dah bom...a lah lah lah...

 Huang Weiqiang, “The Internationalized Hong Kong Meat Market”

Sheng Gongmu (Te Wei), “The Borderlands”

Yan Zhexi, “Nothing of the Sort!”

Ye Qianyu, “Supply Exceeds Demand, Demand Exceeds Supply”

Ye Qianyu, “The Second-class Rail Carriage”

Yu Yongpeng, “Competing Vehicles”

Yu Yongpeng, “Repairing a Rich Man’s Head”

Instructions: The face is painted green to facilitate malingering. The scalp is lubricated to slip out of tight situations. The eyes are different colors for sizing up different sorts of characters. The ears are nailed shut to help shirk responsibility. The teeth are sharp and the tongue coated with honey as an aid to persuasion. But little does the rich man know how the small-timers leech off of him!