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    Sale 5139

    Travel & Natural History

    25 September 2007, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 273

    James Gillray (1756-1815)

    The Reception of the Diplomatique & his Suite at the Court of Pekin

    Price Realised  

    James Gillray (1756-1815)
    The Reception of the Diplomatique & his Suite at the Court of Pekin
    handcoloured etching, published by H. Humphrey, London, 1792
    S. 12½ x 15 7/8in. (31.7 x 40.2cm.)


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    In 1793 Lord Macartney arrived in China as ambassador of King George III. The aims of his embassy were largely directed towards the enlargement of British trade with the far east, and especially with China. The embassy also had a diplomatic and cultural mission, to impress the Chinese with British achievements. They were to do so largely by distributing presents of British manufactures, chief among them being scientific instruments. The Chinese refused the embassy's requests, and clearly regarded the gifts of instruments as merely ingenious toys.



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