• 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 15


    CIRCA 1785

    Price Realised  


    CIRCA 1785
    A continuous scene around the exterior showing two folly forts and Chinese figures on large boats and small sampans, spring flower cluster in the center
    15¾ in. (40 cm.) diameter

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    As China Traders made their way from the South China Sea up the Pearl River, guided by their Chinese hosts in pilot boats, they passed through first the Portuguese-named Boca Tigris and then arrived at their anchorage spot, Whampoa, part of a network of larger and smaller isles just outside Canton proper. Within these isles stood the two well-known Folly Forts, sometimes called "children's castles", and used by the Western companies for storage. This exotic scenery became part of the iconic imagery of the China Trade, appearing on a plate illustrated by Le Corbeiller (Patterns of Exchange, p. 96) as early as mid-18th century and on a Dutch armorial service (see Hervouet, op. cit, p. 21) circa 1760.