A very attractive rendering of one of the most famous views in the world. Looking towards Victoria Peak, rising high above this rapidly developing hub of international trade, the scene depicts the harbour thronging with Chinese, British, American, French and other European vessels of various sorts, including junks, several paddle steamers and a prison hulk. Along the shoreline stand the early warehouses and other commercial buildings, while above them rise the growing number of residences.
The increasing accessibility of Hong Kong to European shipping, in particular the steam-powered vessels depicted here, can be charted by the growth of the P&O company. Founded in 1834 as the Peninsular Steam Navigation Company, it soon changed its name to the Peninsular & Oriental Steamship Navigation Company, or P&O for short. 1842 saw the first service to India via Suez, which was extended in 1844 to Ceylon, Penang, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Although decades before the first high rise offices that now dominate and define the city, this fascinating scene nevertheless captures the thriving activity of the mid 19th century upon which its later global success was founded.
Oil on canvas, 42.5 x 72.5 cm (16¾ x 28½ in), in a simple, period-style, gold leaf frame. Canvas relined, with some discreet repair and restoration.
Stock ID: 93939