• Lot 231

    The manufucture and distribution of porcelain, tea, silk and rice: A Chinese export album of eighty-eight watercolours

    CHINESE SCHOOL, 19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    The manufucture and distribution of porcelain, tea, silk and rice: A Chinese export album of eighty-eight watercolours
    Chinese School, 19th Century
    Containing eighty-eight leaves depicting the production and manufacture of porcelain, silk, tea and rice, bound in a leather cover, each leaf inscribed with Chinese and Latin title, including 23 leaves of the porcelain production, 17 leaves of the cultivation of rice, 24 leaves of the production of silk, and 24 leaves of the production of tea
    Each scene 26.5 x 36.5 cm., each sheet 36.5 x 51.5 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

    The present images of the production of porcelain, tea, silk and rice are based on scenes known as the Gengzhi tu, 'Illustrations of Ploughing and Weaving', depicting all aspects of Chinese rice-production and silk cultivation. The work was commissioned by Emperor Kangxi and was published in 1696, comprising woodblock prints by the court painter Jiao Bingzhen and accompanied by Kangxi's own poetry. The emperors Yongzheng and Qianlong also published such works, while Qianlong added the theme of the porcelain production to the two existing series.
    During the Qing dynasty, many versions of the production processes were published. Not only were they much sought after on the Chinese market, but they were also produced for Western buyers, to whose taste they were adapted: the series were mainly published in watercolours, instead of the traditional Chinese pen and ink, and the Chinese calligraphy is abandoned.
    The watercolours in the present lot loosely follow the subjects of the Gengzhi tu, yet the colourful and lively rendering of the subject, also including many scenes of trade, are especially appealing to the Western eye.

    Special Notice

    Christie’s charges a premium to the buyer on the Hammer Price of each lot sold at the following rates: 29.75% of the Hammer Price of each lot up to and including €5,000, plus 23.8% of the Hammer Price between €5,001 and €400,000, plus 14.28% of any amount in excess of €400,001. Buyer’s premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.


    Pre-Lot Text

    The Estate of a Private European Collection