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Set of Six 19th Century Chinese Export Pith Paintings of Junks

On Hold
US$6,800per set

About

A charming and rare set of six Chinese gouaches of sailing vessels, or junks, painted on pith paper, beautifully framed and matted. During the 18th and 19th centuries many port cities of China, especially southern Guandong province, were shipping and trading hubs, with important transport connections to other parts of the country, Japan and Europe. The profuse traffic of Chinese boats and vessels crowded together on the Pearl River fascinated European travellers and traders, who could immortalize that beautiful view by purchasing gouaches on different supports, including pith, from the various painting studios nearby the port. These painted views were produced in sets as souvenirs. They were small, extremely attractive objects, full of color and a marvelous velvety texture. They were perfectly complementary to the truly coveted objects of porcelain, tea and silk, whose purchase was the reason many Europeans traveled to China. Pith is often mistaken for rice paper for those unfamiliar with the material. However this support has nothing to do with paper in its structure and behavior. It´s actually a sheet of inner bark cut from the pith plant, the Tetrapanax Papyrifer. This unusual structure forming such a thin leaf gives the translucent nature and soft surface with its inner velvety texture to the support.

Details

  • Dimensions
    Height: 10.25 in. (26.04 cm)Width: 13.5 in. (34.29 cm)Depth: .75 in. (1.91 cm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 6
  • Style
    Chinese Export (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    1830
  • Condition
    Minor blemishes to the pith, overall marvelous condition for these paintings on such a delicate support.
  • Seller Location
    Stamford, CT
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU803025281242

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Ships From: Stamford, CT
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Stamford, CT
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Established in 1990
1stDibs seller since 2004
296 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: <1 hour
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