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A superb rendition of company style painting on an English writing slope. 

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One of the characters looks like an attempt to write "jade" a precious and important commodity worthy of the attention of such a person. Enlarge Picture

One of the characters looks like an attempt to write "jade" a precious and important commodity worthy of the attention of such a person.

A superb rendition of company style painting on an English writing slope. The lid depicts a very important nobleman/merchant, the superiority of his person denoted by his long beard and magnificent costume. A rich beard is a stylistic convention used in Chinese art to signify rank. He is attended by figures of some, although lesser status. The standing figure is offering a box with Chinese characters which were copied by a European who had not mastered the language or the order of painting the strokes. One of the characters looks like an attempt to write "jade" a precious and important commodity worthy of the attention of such a person. Note the formal poise of the scene in spite the fact that there is activity. The oriental art of negotiation is perfectly captured in all its subtle nuances. The inside of the lid is decorated with a scene in the lighter more playful chinoiserie style. All the painting is done using clear bright colors and defining the lines precisely. The mood of the composition is captured in the interaction of the posture of the protagonists. 14" wide. Circa 1790-1800.

The above is an extract from page 47 of Antique Boxes, Tea Caddies, and Society, 1700--1880 
Antigone Clarke & Joseph O'Kelly,
ISBN: 0764316885

 

 

All text and images and linked images are 1999-2005 Antigone Clarke and Joseph O'Kelly. If you require any further information on permitted use, or a licence to republish any material, email us at copyright@hygra.com