Robert Byron wrote his best-known travelogue, Road to Oxiana, in 1934 while living in Beijing with Desmond Parsons, younger brother of the 6th Earl of Rosse. His family believes he acquired this piece there. Interestingly he had a strong interest in architecture and architectural preservation - he was a founding member of the Georgian Group - which may explain his attraction to this unusual China Trade subject.
Perspective was one of several Western painting techniques introduced to Chinese court artists by the Jesuits. Almost like a new toy, the technique was displayed with great virtuosity, as here. Compare with a very interesting set of four large enamel plaques probably made for the Yuanming Yuan's European style palace that also show Europeans in a formal garden promenade (a pair sold Sotheby's London, 30 October and 3 November 1987, lot 375).