• The Collection of Benjamin F.  auction at Christies

    Sale 2388

    The Collection of Benjamin F. Edwards III

    26 January 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 51


    CIRCA 1785

    Price Realised  


    CIRCA 1785
    The exterior finely enameled with a continuous scene of the Canton waterfront showing numerous Western and Chinese figures at leisure or labor before or within the foreign factories, in the interior a complex border incorporating landscape vignettes above central basket of flowers, a pair to lot 44
    12½ in. (31.8 cm.) diameter

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    This scene of the Canton waterfront showing the foreign factories flying their respective flags became fashionable on porcelain from about 1765, first in two static scenes. Continuous views like we see on this example seem to date from about 1780. Kee Il Choi has written of the conundrum of the Chinese artist who needed to transfer an essentially rectangular landscape image onto a circular bowl, pointing out that one solution, as we see here, was to insert the Dutch folly fort in the water at the start and finish of the waterfront. See D.S. Howard, A Tale of Three Cities, p. 51, for a similar bowl, with less complex border.


    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 27 January 1988, lot 279.