These images are abstracted from a fairly comprehensive visual record made by Firmin Laribe (1855-1942). Laribe was a French amateur photographer and military officer, a guard commander of the French Legation active in Beijing around the years 1904 and 1910.
Laribe left four binders containing in total over four hundred gelatin silver prints mounted on fawn colour cardboard. The main themes he compiled were imperial palaces near Beijing, the landmarks en route to the Great Wall, cultural objects (sculptures, statuettes, cloisonés, bronzes, furnitures), traditional architecture, street scenes, as well as costumes, ceremonial occasions, transport infrastructures and so forth.
Photographs are all annotated with descriptive captions. In doing so, Laribe demonstrated a clear attempt to provide accurate information: capturing sometimes the same place from different angles, and indicating the geographic location of monuments. However, although Laribe implemented a sort of taxonomical approach, something of a sense of individuality permeated his pictures.