• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 3786

    The Collection of Carroll Petrie & European Decorative Arts from the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, including the Eugenia Woodward Hitt Collection

    31 March 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1063

    ATTRIBUTED TO LAMQUA (19TH CENTURY)

    Portrait of Houqua, three-quarter length, seated, in an interior

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    ATTRIBUTED TO LAMQUA (19TH CENTURY)
    Portrait of Houqua, three-quarter length, seated, in an interior
    oil on canvas, laid down
    13 x 11 in. (33 x 28 cm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Houqua (1769-1843) became the most powerful - and wealthy - of the Chinese merchants who made up the Co-Hong in Canton. D.S. Howard writes (New York and the China Trade, no. C101) that Houqua "developed a reputation of almost legendary proportions (by) his retirement in 1834, (when his) wealth was estimated at $26 million". Forbes, Kernan & Wilkins (Chinese Export Silver, p.29) note that "the style of life of the wealthiest Hong merchants, such as...Houqua, involved a degree of luxury...scarcely imagined except in the greatest houses of England and the Continent." Many journals of China traders record the lavish entertaining and generous gifts of Houqua, who was apparently as well-liked as he was respected for his business acumen.
    Portraits of Houqua became treasured acquisitions for the leading Western merchants of the 1830, and in Western collections became almost iconic images of the China trade. Lamqua (b. 1801) was the portrait artist of choice.