Thursday, 15 March 2018

Clara Telge (Part V) China and Hamburg

Bernard Telge traded (import/export) in metals (iron), colonial ware, machinery for mining and printing, building and contracting of railways and bridges, steam engines, railway locomotives etc.. He also took an interest in coal mines.  

Tientsin (Tianjin) concessions (Austrian bridge) around 1900.
I found several business partners who joined Telges China-Hamburg trading house and businesses (1860-1900) and about some of them more details were found then on the life of Bernard Telge himself. Telge was appointed consul for Belgium in 1892. In 1890 a partner Fritz (Friedrich) Sommer (b. Bremen 6-1-1868), joined and acted as consul for Norway from 1907.  
Tientsin-Tianjin trading harbor in 1874 
Herman Schroeter (see later) also joined the company in 1890 and became a partner in Telge & Schroeter in 1895. The firm would move up to Tientsin (Tianjin) another freeport and nearer to Being. It consisted of 9 foreign concessions granted by the emperor (Qing dynasty) in 1860. 
Somewhere between settling in Shanghai in 1860 and 1870 Bernard Telge will have found a wife (probably in Germany ?) because in 1870 Clara was born in Shanghai. It was mentioned she had a sister or sisters. I have not been able to find anything more about Bernards family so far. For instance the name of his wife and other children. It could be Bernard died in 1898 (that is also when the company was taken over) but that has to be verified. 
Hamburg,  Maria Luisenstrasse 1915
I found Bernards widow ("Frau Bernhard Telge", Clara's mother who I sadly do not know by name yet), mentioned in an old address book living Hamburg Maria Luisenstrasse 4 which is near Hamburg Stadtpark, probably the location of this entrance gate by Hamburg printmaker Else Zinkeisen (Hamburg 1871 - died probably 1934) Her short-biography can be read in my book.   

Bernards brother Rudolph Telge's widow ("Frau Rudolph Telge") is Emma Telge-Oldermann (1834-1911). She lived Uhlandstrasse 38 and was the daughter of former merchant and "Dispacheur" Johannes Olderman (b.1800), Hamburgs official government legal expert on business damages. Judging the size of the dwellings in these posh Hamburg lanes Emma Telge and her sister-in-law seem to have been left very "well-off" by their successful merchant husbands.  

Hamburg Uhlandstrasse 

Anyway, in 1898 Bernard or his legal representatives left (part of ?) the firm to his nephew Rudolph Telge (1859-1914). As it happens he is one of the sons of Georg Telge (1827-1897) in Hamburg suggesting Bernard had no male successor to his international trading company. It is these small but significant bits of information that help to see the coherence and allowing to rebuild the past. 


Two of Bernard Telge's associates or partners are particularly intersesting to mention here.  

Hermann Schroeter
(born where ? 16-10-1857 - 24-06-1905 Shanghai ?) 

Some personal photographs were found and together with some research they tell a dramatic personal story maybe to be continued by readers in future. 

Here we see posing elegantly Hermann Schroeter and his wife Emilie Becker photographed in may 1896 in Shanghai in a horse and carriage with a Chinese servant. Emilie Telge-Becker was born (possibly in Lemgo near Detmold) on 11-08-1864. Following the dates with the photographs she is expectant of their first born son Albert (Shanghai 16-10-1896). Unaware of the dramatic events that were to follow the dates with the photo's tell she would die two weeks after she gave birth.   

Albert is photographed a year later with his grand-mother Becker in Lemgo, she is probably Emilie's mother (although it is possibly she is the mother of Hermann Schroeter). I suppose on that occasion Hermann married Emilie's younger sister Lulu (Luise) Becker born 1869 and returned to Shanghai where the couple had two more children, but then Hermann Schroeter would die in 1905. I wonder what has become of his family afterwards.  

In 1906 Arnold Berg (1874-1939) joined the firm and eventually in 1928 ended up as the owner of the entire company with an office at Hamburg Alsterdamm 7.

Hamburg: Alsterdamm and Jungfernstieg. 

Hermann Johann Mandl (Edler von Manden)
(Vienna 1856 – 1922 Vienna )

was in 1877 an adventurous Jewish young man who joined Bernard Telges’ firm and for several years worked deep in the interior China for the Telge company learning to speak Chinese fluently. He was to stay in China for 30 years. After some time he switched leading the British trading company of “Jardine, Matheson & Co” and in 1886 succeeded in founding his own trading company “J. Mandl & Co”, representing Ferdinand Krupp and Werner von Siemens products euphemistically described as “Kriegsmaterial” (guns and canons) and “Friedensmaterial” (railway and engineering equipment). He became an influential lobbyist, heavily depending on bribes, charm and a chest-full of imperial decorations. The conflicts, China being involved in several wars (Russian-Japanese and Chinese-Japanese) the successful trading and his Vienna charm made him extremely wealthy.

In 1900 Mandl competed in the Paris summer Olympics (the first of its kind and part of the World Fair) on several equestrian disciplines. In 1909 he returned to Vienna with a shipload ("a mountain") of art and treasures and was knighted (“Edler von Manden”). 
Paris 1900 World Exhibition. 
Married without children many of the Chinese artefacts and treasurus he brought home are now kept in Vienna Museums. Johann Mandl ranked nr. 250 on the 929 wealthiest people in Vienna 1910 which counted 2 million inhabitants and was the 7th largest city in the world. 
Readers and passer-by are invited to send additions and all they may know about the Hamburg families of brothers Bernard and Georg Telge helping to create a first short biography of forgotten Hamburg painter Clara Telge.

More to follow soon .....(work & research in progress)

All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only. 

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