Two fine copies after plates 9 and 3 in Smith and Daniell's Views of Prince of Wales Island (1821) by Sunqua, a Chinese artist working out of Macao and Canton. The Daniell plates derive from original views by Captain Robert Smith, an East India Company military engineer who was Superintending Engineer for Prince of Wales Island in 1814-15 and who returned to the island in 1817 to take charge of the completion of the construction of St George's Church. He left the island in 1819 and supervised the commissioning of the engravings of his views by Daniell while on leave in London.
Smith's original picture of 'Mount Erskine and Pulo Ticoose Bay' is in the Penang Museum (Lim Chong Keat, pl.40), one of a set of ten of Smith's original pictures acquired by the museum in 1976; the picture for the 'View from Strawberry Hill' was not located by Lim Chong Keat in 1986. Mount Erskine was named for and became the property of John James Erskine, erstwhile Assistant Superintendant of Marine in Penang. The view shows the signalling station on the peak, prominent to all shipping in the North Channel, George Town and North Beach and the Prai River beyond. The 'View from Strawberry Hill' shows the elevated gardens 'which are believed to have been initiated by Francis Light and developed by David Brown [which] would have been a re-creation of the British garden landscape and its temperate flora' (Lim Chong Keat, pp.109-10).
For another version of the Mount Erskine view (in watercolour and of similar size) attributed to Sunqua, see Christie's, 25 Sept. 2003, lot 465 (£19,717,50).