Ladies’ Directory. Red Book for Shanghai for the year 1885 - 1885 - Printed and Published at the “North-China Herald” Office, Shanghai - Only Edition If one was not included in the Ladies’ Directory or little Red Book for Shanghai, then one was not of social importance.

A beautifully restored example of this rare and exquisite little directory. This one the property of Mrs. Ernest T. Holwill (
How-kung-kuan) of “West Villa” Bubbling Well Road, Shanghai (see page 39), with her hand written ‘visiting notes’, both ‘visited’ and ‘received’.

With 65 pages listing 516 society ladies, with their surname in Chinese characters, a transliteration, and address in English, followed by 48 pages for one’s ‘Visiting Notes’.

In addition are useful sections including ‘
Colloquial Phrases’ covering directions, places one would usually visit, and roads; Fixed and Moveable Festivals; The New Lectionary; Postage Rates and Regulations; Market Prices (with items in English and Chinese characters); followed by pages of relevant advertisements.
  Provenance: Mrs. Ernest T. Holwill (How-kung-kuan) of “West Villa” Bubbling Well Road, Shanghai (see page 39), who then passed it on to her granddaughter ”Jimmie” Holwill. All described in a long inscription to the front endpapers [Jimmie” Holwill. 1933. Given to her by her Grand Mother: Mrs Ernest T. Holwille and later (Mrs. John Ritchie), 823 North Street, Pittsfield, Mass.].

Mrs Holwill’s husband Ernest Towner Holwill (born Goodrich) (1846-88), attended Harvard Law School, become Secretary to Anson Burlingame, the American envoy to China in 1861, and in 1864 joined the Imperial Chinese Maritime Customs, rising to rising to Acting Deputy Commissioner of Canton by 1883. Riots, a result of the beatings of several Chinese workers by a Mr. Logan, an employee of the Customs, led to the burning of Holwill’s house and later his demotion in 1885. He continued to work for Customs up to 1887, and passed away in 1888. One of their sons, Claude Newton Holwill, also attended Harvard Law School, and joined the Imperial Maritime Customs, becoming the second ranking commissioner in the service, under Sir Robert Hart, the only American to have ever held such a high post.

Duodecimo (12.2 x 18.9 cm) pp. [2] 78 [49
Visiting Notes] [3 Memoranda] 131-154.
  In publisher’s binding of red morocco, panels with twin filet borders enclosing gilt lettering, and publisher’s emblem to rear panel, powder blue coated end-papers, professionally re-backed to the highest of standards with new matching morocco spine, corners consolidated, inner joints replaced with matching blue paper.   Condition: Internally near fine, light fading to pastedowns, professionally re-backed with new matching morocco spine, to the highest standard   Ref: 107917   Price: HK$ 18,000