University of Bristol - Historical Photographs of China reference number: OH03-010. Another print of this photograph is held in Archives and Special Collections, SOAS Library (SOAS reference: CIM/PHOTO Box 7 2/77), captioned: "Gathering Colne nuts". This photograph was published by Mactavish and Co. Ltd, Shanghai. The man in the tub seems to be heading for the plants with reed-like leaves in the foreground on the left. These plants could well be Chinese water chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis). Other foliage, including in the foreground on the right, could be Water Caltrop (Trapa natans or Trapa bicornis). Both plants are generally known as water chestnut, a tender and delicious plant which grows in large quantities in Lake Taihu, near Suzhou and Wuxi, where this photograph may have been taken. See Ep01-721 and Ep02-069.
A man gathering water chestnuts, in a coracle-like vessel