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Life before the Great War: Black-and-white images from a grand tour of Europe in 1904

Life before the Great War: Incredible black-and-white images from a grand tour of Europe in 1904 (but who took them remains a complete mystery)

Policemen looking smart in their uniforms stand guard during a procession in the street in London

A man in a suit stands among poultry while visiting a market in the town of Bayreuth in the heart of Bavaria in Germany 

A man in a suit stands among poultry while visiting a market in the town of Bayreuth in the heart of Bavaria in Germany 

Pedestrians stroll across the famous Charles Bridge in the city of Prague. At the time the city was located in the country known as Bohemia 

Pedestrians stroll across the famous Charles Bridge in the city of Prague. At the time the city was located in the country known as Bohemia 

Two fishermen wearing traditional baggy trousers and clog shoes have the assistance of a young helper who carries two small buckets in Marken in the Netherlands 

Two fishermen wearing traditional baggy trousers and clog shoes have the assistance of a young helper who carries two small buckets in Marken in the Netherlands 

Farm workers in Austria stack huge bales of hay on top of a cart that is being pulled by ox

Farm workers in Austria stack huge bales of hay on top of a cart that is being pulled by ox

The negatives and index system for the fascinating collection that Mr Nelson bought at an estate sale in Minneapolis in 1990

The negatives and index system for the fascinating collection that Mr Nelson bought at an estate sale in Minneapolis in 1990

A grand looking horse-drawn carriage rides past the Blue Ball Inn in Countisbury, Lynmouth, in Devon

A grand looking horse-drawn carriage rides past the Blue Ball Inn in Countisbury, Lynmouth, in Devon

Before machinery was widely-used, farmers would use ox hooked up to cutting machines to chop down the hay. Pictured is a farmer and his animals in Germany 

Before machinery was widely-used, farmers would use ox hooked up to cutting machines to chop down the hay. Pictured is a farmer and his animals in Germany 

Four little boys pose for the camera wearing traditional buttoned-up shirts, baggy trousers and clogs in the town of Volendam in the Netherlands 

Four little boys pose for the camera wearing traditional buttoned-up shirts, baggy trousers and clogs in the town of Volendam in the Netherlands 

Two young girls wearing traditional dress pose for the camera in Marken in the Netherlands. Mr Nelson said: 'Not only are the images well composed and correctly exposed, but they are unlike what one might expect from a casual tourist' 

Two young girls wearing traditional dress pose for the camera in Marken in the Netherlands. Mr Nelson said: ‘Not only are the images well composed and correctly exposed, but they are unlike what one might expect from a casual tourist’ 

A man stands at the bottom of an old cobbled street in what is believed to be Montreuil-Sur-Mer in France

Several horse-drawn omnibuses make their way around the streets of London

A man stands at the bottom of an old cobbled street in what is believed to be Montreuil-Sur-Mer in France, left. Pictured right are several horse-drawn omnibuses making their way around the streets of London

A typical chocolate box village with tiny cottages with thatched roofs at Cockington Forge in Devon, England

A typical chocolate box village with tiny cottages with thatched roofs at Cockington Forge in Devon, England

A replica windmill in Sans Souci Park, Potsdam, Germany. This picture was the first one that Mr Nelson saw. It prompted him to buy the whole collection

A replica windmill in Sans Souci Park, Potsdam, Germany. This picture was the first one that Mr Nelson saw. It prompted him to buy the whole collection

Women kneel on the pebbles to do their laundry on the beach in Étretat in northern France

Women kneel on the pebbles to do their laundry on the beach in Étretat in northern France

A man sits on top of his cart, which is attached to two dogs in the Netherlands. Not only are the old photographs mesmerising, but their origin is just as fascinating as mystery surrounds who took them and where they came from

A man sits on top of his cart, which is attached to two dogs in the Netherlands. Not only are the old photographs mesmerising, but their origin is just as fascinating as mystery surrounds who took them and where they came from

An organ grinder wanders the streets of London with his daughter playing to passers-by. A monkey can be seen sitting on top

An organ grinder wanders the streets of London with his daughter playing to passers-by. A monkey can be seen sitting on top

A picture Mr Nelson uncovered that had been labelled 'the oldest man in Clovelly', which is a small village in Devon, England

A picture Mr Nelson uncovered that had been labelled ‘the oldest man in Clovelly’, which is a small village in Devon, England

A picture showing a man wearing a sandwich board advertising the play Cynthia at Wyndham's Theatre in London. It only ran from mid-May to early June in 1904

A picture showing a man wearing a sandwich board advertising the play Cynthia at Wyndham’s Theatre in London. It only ran from mid-May to early June in 1904

An exceptionally smart group of people wander through the ancient buildings of Oxford

An exceptionally smart group of people wander through the ancient buildings of Oxford

A group of men in Germany sit on the side of a street and appear to be playing a card game while one man smoking a pipe stares down the camera 

A group of men in Germany sit on the side of a street and appear to be playing a card game while one man smoking a pipe stares down the camera 

A smartly dressed lady wanders down the cobble streets of Clovelly in Devon. The collection of vintage snaps contains several pictures taken in the village 

A smartly dressed lady wanders down the cobble streets of Clovelly in Devon. The collection of vintage snaps contains several pictures taken in the village 

Mr Nelson said: 'While these photos are not technically from the 19th century, they belong to that period known as the long 19th century, which is the period from the French Revolution to the First World War'

Mr Nelson said: ‘While these photos are not technically from the 19th century, they belong to that period known as the long 19th century, which is the period from the French Revolution to the First World War’

A well-turned out female tourists looks engrossed in a book as she gathers around the Frauenkirche in Nuremberg, Germany

A well-turned out female tourists looks engrossed in a book as she gathers around the Frauenkirche in Nuremberg, Germany

Two smartly dressed gentlemen chat on the street in London as horse and carts whizz past. This picture is among Mr Nelson's favourites

Two smartly dressed gentlemen chat on the street in London as horse and carts whizz past. This picture is among Mr Nelson’s favourites

Small fishing boats are left on the shoreline in a charming picture taken at the Quay in Clovelly in Devon 

Small fishing boats are left on the shoreline in a charming picture taken at the Quay in Clovelly in Devon 

Mr Nelson has been able to find out that the ladies in this picture are known as Mrs Dixon and Alice. They pose next to a parrot in a bird cage in London

Mr Nelson has been able to find out that the ladies in this picture are known as Mrs Dixon and Alice. They pose next to a parrot in a bird cage in London

A man focuses his whole attention on trying to repair a fishing net that has become broken in Étretat, Normandy

A man focuses his whole attention on trying to repair a fishing net that has become broken in Étretat, Normandy

The Zwinger Palace in Dresden in Germany - a city that was left in ruins by allied action in the Second World War

The Zwinger Palace in Dresden in Germany – a city that was left in ruins by allied action in the Second World War

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