• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1957

    Chinese Export Art

    23 January 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 113

    A 'HONG' PUNCHBOWL

    CIRCA 1775-80

    Price Realised  

    A 'HONG' PUNCHBOWL
    CIRCA 1775-80
    Very finely enamelled with a continuous scene showing the waterfront at Canton, the foreign factories flying their flags of, from left to right, Denmark, France (white), Austria (Imperial Eagle), Sweden, England and Holland, with numerous European figures on the terraces, conversing in the courtyards, appearing in windows and doorways and in the foreground figures in three small sailboats, two flying the Union Jack and one the Dutch flag, Chinese figures nearby in sampans, the interior with a basket of flowers in a roundel edged with flowers, fruit, and bamboo, the rim with wide, intricate border suspending small baskets of flowers and floral swags
    14 3/8 in. (36.5 cm.) diameter


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    This waterfront view of the Western enclave at Canton became a revered scene for China traders. First found on magnificent punchbowls in about 1760, by about 1780 the design had developed into a continuous scene, as in the present example. K.I. Choi has demonstrated the development of the design and the Chinese painter's strategem for transferring a flat panorama to a circular surface (The Magazine Antiques, October 1999.) An example of the present type in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, formerly in the W. Martin-Hurst Collection, is illustrated by C. Le Corbeiller, China Trade Porcelain: Patterns of Exchange, 1974, no.49; and another, from the Mottahedeh Collection, is illustrated by D. Howard and J. Ayers, op. cit., vol. I, p. 209.