ANONYMOUS, EDO PERIOD, THE MISSISSIPPI STEAMBOAT ENTERING TOKYO HARBOUR IN 1853, 19TH CENTURY
ink and colour on paper, framed
90 cm., 35⅜ in. wide
- It has not been taken out of its frame but it seems in good condition.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Vanderbilt Estate, Maine, USA
This painting depicts the Mississippi, which was built under the personal supervision of Commodore Matthew Perry (1794–1858) in 1841. She cruised the Mediterranean Sea and the Ottoman Empire before serving as the flagship for Commodore Perry’s expedition to Japan ordered [DATE] by U.S. President Millard Fillmore (1800–1874).
On 8 July 1853, residents of Uraga on the outskirts of Edo (today Tokyo), the capital of the Tokugawa shogunate, beheld an astonishing sight when four foreign steamships entered their harbour under a cloud of black smoke. The four Black Ships (kurofune) were called the Susquehanna, the Mississippi, the Plymouth and the Saratoga. Commodore Matthew Perry had arrived to request for Japan to end its two-century-long isolationist policy (sakoku) and to open up trade with the West.
Kurofune [Black Ships] became a symbol of the opening of the country (kaikoku) that would eventually cause the fall of the Edo regime.