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TINGQUA (Guan Lianchang).

[China Export Watercolours on Pith Paper].

Stock Code
101742
Canton, 1830
£60,000

a rare set of albums by Tingqua also known as Guan Lianchang, the younger brother of Lam Qua and the most famous of the Canton (Guangzhou) artists. The set includes views of Canton and Macau as well as portraits of the Emperor and studies of insects and flowers.

Pith seems not to have been adopted for painting until about 1820. Some European museums claim that their paintings on pith (often erroneously called 'rice paper' or 'mulberry pith') come from the end of the eighteenth century but there do not seem to be any dateable examples that are so early. There is a record of the Kaiser Franz of Austria buying some albums from an English Consul-General Watts in 1826. We know of an Italian Count who visited Canton in 1828 and had over 350 paintings on pith in his baggage when he died in Ambon two years later. In the

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Description

10 albums, small oblong folio or folio (23 x 32 cm, or the reverse); 123 watercolour and gouache paintings on pith paper, some with captions and numbered (in Chinese characters and English), each mounted on paper with a pale blue silk border, each album with 'Tingqua' written in ink to upper flyleaf, some worming, stains and loss to paintings; uniformly bound in contemporary Chinese silk brocade with silk ties; housed in a contemporary Chinese silk brocade box (34.5 x 25 x 17 cm) with hinged lid and silk ribbon handles, box rather worn.

The 10 albums comprise:
1. Views of Canton, Whampoa, Bocca Tigris (Humen), and Macau (4)
2. Portraits of the Emperor, Governor, Ambassador, General, and their spouses (12)
3. The stages of life: birth, nursing, head shaving, school, marriage, exams, worship, at court, official travel, extended family, 60th birthday, death (12)
4. Female occupations, including silk winding, embroidery, make up, clothes making, preparing hemp, dividing thread, weaving, and painting on silk (12)
5. Scenes of women at leisure (6) and arrangements of flowers in baskets (6)
6. Studies of flowers and insects (12)
7. Studies of shells (6), and types of boats (6)
8. Fishes (12
9. Tea cultivation (12), and street traders (10)
10. Chinese furniture and household objects (13)

Bibliography

Stock ID:101742

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