A History of the Shanghai Paper Hunt Club 1863-1930 - C. Noel Davis, Edmund Toeg (illustrator) 1930 - Kelly and Walsh Limited, Shanghai - First Edition A remarkable insight into one of the important social events in Shanghai, from the late 1800s through to the 1930s. Introduced by the British, frustrated by the lack of animals for a proper hunt, the paper hunt involved one horseman who would ride ahead of the others to act as the hunted prey, marking the trail with coloured paper. One of the main rules was that only Mongolian ponies were accepted as a valid ride.

The list of participants and winners is a veritable who’s-who of influential traders, bankers and diplomats. Founded in the 1860s in the midst of the Taiping Rebellion (1850-64), the Club thrived through revolutions, warlord control, communist insurgency and suppression, the Japanese occupation and civil war.

Containing anecdotes, poems, songs, black and white photographs including a long fold-out panorama photograph by Ah Fong of the
Meet of the Christmas hunt 1929, drawings and cartoons by Edmund Toeg (including a colour fold-out of the winners of the hunt challenge cup 1910-30).

Complete with six large-scale folding maps of the riding and hunting country.
  The club, founded in 1863 and with the British Consul in Shanghai John Markham as Master, was open to all nationalities and extremely cosmopolitan: by 1930 over twenty different nationalities were represented in the membership, including British, Chinese, Americans, Italians, German, Japanese, Norwegian and Russians. Initially reserved only to men, the club opened its doors to women in 1929.

The editor of the North China Herald was puzzled about the purpose of such sport, writing in an article at the height of the 1866 season: ‘Among the various proofs of madness which Chinese have daily opportunity of noting against the AngloSaxon race, few must appear to them more conclusive than Paper Hunting ... For two men to gallop frantically over field and creek ... for the mere purpose of scattering bits of paper which others take a delight in following up ... is rank madness’. Riders encountered strong hostility from local Chinese farmers who resented the ‘invasion’ of their farmlands and the lack of respect shown by the hunters, as trails ran sometimes very close to ancestral grave mounds; the Club was forced to make large payment to local official to placate the discontent and pay for damages.

Quarto (25 x 28.7 cm) pp. [16] 173 [3]. Publisher’s red silk cloth, lettered in gilt to spine, front panel with gilt blocked vignette of jumping pony, illustrated endpapers showing silhouette of ‘
Beith’s Bungalow’ to front and ‘Flags Returning Home’ to rear.
  Condition: Near fine, fading to silk spine and outer margins of boards, toning to endpapers.   Ref: 109154   Price: HK$ 9,000