Description & Technical information

Note: The underlying structure of the paintings has been restored where necessary. 
One painting depicts a view of the stretch of river frontage known as the Bund at Shanghai on the Yangtze river. The Bund was originally the Shanghai trading port, and it later developed into a leading Chinese financial centre for international trade.
The second painting depicts a view of the thirteen hongs, or warehouses, at the Chinese port of Canton on the Pearl River. Canton was the first port at which China allowed Europeans to trade. At this time only six countries were allowed to trade with China, represented in the painting by their flags: from left to right, Denmark, Spain, the United States, Sweden, Britain and Holland.
The waterfront changed when the warehouses were burned down, first, by accident, in 1822, and again in 1841 and 1856 during the first and second opium wars. The hongs were rebuilt twice, but after the second opium war they were relocated to Henan Island, across the Pearl River, and then to Shamian Island, which is now part of Guangzhou National Park.

Date:  circa 1800
Period:  George III
Origin:  Chinese
Dimensions: 114.5 x 64 cm (45¹/₈ x 25¹/₄ inches)
Provenance: Tom Devenish & Co., New York, USA.
Collection of Bob Johnson, New York, USA.
Categories: Furniture