Sep 29, 2022 - Sale 2615

Sale 2615 - Lot 45

Price Realized: $ 6,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(CHINESE-AMERICANS.) Cabinet card of Ko K'un-hua, Harvard's first professor of Chinese language. Albumen photograph, 5 3/4 x 4 inches, on original mount with photographer's backmark, captioned in manuscript on verso "Ko Hun"; minimal wear. Boston: Warren's Portraits, circa 1879-1882

Additional Details

Ko K'un-hua (1838-1882) was brought to Harvard in 1879, in the hopes that he could train a generation of students for success as China merchants. Enrollment in his classes was modest, with only 4 or 5 pupils. He died of pneumonia after almost 3 years at Harvard. The books he brought with him were Harvard's first in any Asian language, and formed the initial core of what became the Harvard-Yenching Library. After his death, Harvard offered no further instruction in Chinese for nearly 40 years.