Chinese School, Qing Dynasty, early 19th c., "China Trade View of the Anchorage at Whampoa from Dane's Island on the Pearl River near Canton", oil on canvas, 18 in. x 23 3/4 in., framed. Provenance: With Robert Ephraim Peabody (1887-1984), descendant of American China trade merchants, Elias Hasket Derby and Joseph Peabody; his niece, Katharine Peabody Brewster (1913-1999); her son, Henry Hodge Brewster, Jr. Ill.: Peabody, Robert E. The Log of the Grand Turks. Haughton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1926, p. 76.
Note: Whampoa Island’s eastern bay was the chief anchorage for ships participating in Canton’s foreign trade. Here, Western traders were required to keep their ships for the entirety of the six-month trading season, while smaller craft would ferry their captains and supercargoes to and from the Thirteen Factories, or Hongs, in Canton. The painting illustrated here depicts eighteen ships flying the flags of the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, and Denmark. Dane’s Island with its Protestant burial ground sits in the foreground overlooking the Whampoa Anchorage and the island town of Whampoa with its nine-story pagoda.
Similar versions of the Anchorage at Whampoa are illustrated in Carl Crossman, The China Trade, Export Paintings, Furniture, Silver and Other Objects, Pyne Press, Princeton, 1972, pl. 7, p. 255 and in Crossman, The Decorative Arts of the China Trade, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1991, pl. 10, p. 413. A smaller, related example attributed to a follower of Spoilum is conserved by the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA, and is illustrated in IBID, pl. 38, p. 114. A larger version of Whampoa Anchorage was sold Christie’s, London, Apr. 24, 2013, lot 128; another was sold Sotheby’s, NY, Sept. 16, 2008, lot 29.