Back of the Police Courts, Singapore Photograph

This view is taken at the junction between North Canal Road and New Bridge Road overlooking Hong Lim Green and the back of the Police Courts. In the center of the green-named after Hokkien merchant Cheang Hong Lim-is the clubhouse of the Straits Chinese Recreation Club (SCRC), which began activities at the end of 1884. It was mentioned by The Straits Times of 14 January 1885 as a club for the purpose of playing lawn tennis, cricket, and practicing English athletic sports. The octagonal pavilion designed by H.D. Richards was officially opened to members on 2 July 1887 by Chinese consul Tso Ping Lung. Musical entertainment was provided by the band of the Second South Lancashire Regiment. Hong Lim Green had the honour of being Singapore's first public park managed by the Municipality.

G.R. Lambert & Co. opened for business in 1867 in Singapore with a shop located at 1 High Street. Responsible for the most comprehensive photographic documentation of the topography and peoples of Southeast Asia, nothing more was heard or known about the firm nor the photographer, G.R. Lambert, until 10 years later.

Gustave Richard Lambert in 1877 occupied Schleesselman's studio at 30 Orchard Road. Returning from Siam (Thailand) where he had taken over from Henry Schuren as the official photographer to King Chulalongkorn, he reopened his own Orchard Road studio in 1880. Lambert departed Singapore around 1886, leaving the business in the hands of Alexander Koch. Koch expanded the business such that, from the mid-1890s to the 1900s, the company had two studios: one was located in town at Gresham House, Battery Road, and one was situated in the suburban area of Orchard. During its heyday, the company also maintained regional branch studios in Deli (Sumatra), Kuala Lumpur (FMS) and Bangkok (Siam). Besides being the official photographer for King Chulalongkorn, G.R. Lambert & Co. was also the official photographer to the Sultan of Johor, Abu Bakar. The rise of the postcard trade (the first local issue of picture postcards  in Singapore was in 1897) was an appealing development that could not be ignored by commercial photographers such as G.R. Lambert & Co., and by the end of 1910, the firm was offering a choice of 250 different views, with a turnover of 250,000 cards annually.

Lambert & Co.
Back of the Police Courts, Singapore Photograph
Publication Place / Date
Image Dimensions
Singapore / ca. 1900
27 by 20 cm
G+ / Study image carefully
Product Price
Product Number
USD 1,300
SKU #P.1660