LARGE AND RARE CHINA TRADE PAINTING OF A MOTHER AND CHILD WITH VIEW OF THE CANTON WATERFRONT IN THE BACKGROUND, CIRCA 1870.Est. $50,000-$70,000
Sold: $102,000 ($85,000)
Portraying a beautiful young Chinese woman nursing her infant son with an attendant close at hand. Both are lying on a mother-of-pearl and marble inlaid bed, the mother’s breast is modestly covered with a fan, her bound feet also hidden behind a swath of fabric and spray of roses. She rests on a silk embroidered bolster, the end of which is inscribed with a poem in Chinese characters and chop marks. The attendant has a teapot and cup at the ready and a view of the Canton waterfront with paddlewheel steamboat can be seen in the background. Oil on canvas, 25 ½ x 39 inches. In a Chinese reeded and lacquered frame with two cloud-form iron bale handles.
Provenance: Probably Samuel L. Lowe, Jr. Antiques, Boston.Note: A virtually identical painting of a mother and child was offered at Sotheby’s, New York, September 16, 2014, lot 215. Similar compositions, but lacking the view of Canton, are in the collection of the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, and illustrated in Anthony Lawrence, “The Taipan Traders,” 1992, pp. 88-89.