View full screen - View 1 of Lot 94. The Hongs at Canton from the south-east, with a Regatta on the Pearl River.

Thomas Daniell, R.A.

The Hongs at Canton from the south-east, with a Regatta on the Pearl River

Property from a Distinguished European Collection

Thomas Daniell, R.A.

Thomas Daniell, R.A.

The Hongs at Canton from the south-east, with a Regatta on the Pearl River

The Hongs at Canton from the south-east, with a Regatta on the Pearl River

Property from a Distinguished European Collection

Thomas Daniell, R.A.

Kingston-upon-Thames 1749 - 1840 London

The Hongs at Canton from the south-east, with a Regatta on the Pearl River

oil on canvas

canvas: 40 ½ by 54 ¼ in.; 103 by 138 cm.

framed: 48 by 62 ¼ in.; 121.9 by 158.1 cm.

The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920,, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.

This work does not appear to have been recently restored. The canvas has an old glue lining which is stabilizing the paint layer. Diagonal stretcher marks are slightly visible in all four corners despite the lining. The varnish is attractive, but it has yellowed over time.

The flags and flag poles have become slightly abraded and have received retouching. There is also some thinness within the darker colors of the foreground, but there does not seem to be any retouching here. Small, isolated spots of retouching are visible under ultraviolet light in the sky, with slightly broader retouches to some thinness on the right side. The retouches are well matched.

The work can be hung in its current condition.

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Warren Hastings, Daylesford House, Gloucestershire;

By descent to his second wife, Anna Maria Hastings, the former Garoness Imhoff;

By descent to her son General Sir Charles Imhof;

Harman Grisewood (who purchased Daylesford in 1853);

R. Nichol Bass, Daylesford House, 1883;

Charles Edward Baring Young, Daylesford House, 1928;

Bequeathed to the Kingham Hill Educational Trust in 1928, and acquired from Daylesford by the Trust in 1936;

By whom sold, London, Phillips, 11 November 1980, lot 111;

Anonymous Sale, London, Christie's, 6 April 1998, Lot 265;

There acquired by the present collector.

M. Shellim, India and the Daniells: Additional Oil Paintings, London 1988, illustrated p. 20, cat no. TD62A;

S. Reyburn, 'Art Market' in 'Antiques Trade Gazette', 23 May 1998, p. 26

Brighton, The Royal Pavilion, "The China Trade 1600-1860", 1986, (reproduced in the exhibition catalogue p. 31, no. 25)

Thomas Daniell and his nephew William found themselves in China on two occasions: once while traveling to India in 1785 and again when returning to England in 1793. On their first trip, they boarded the Indiaman ‘Atlas’ from Calcutta to Whampoa where they remained for several months visiting Macao and Canton, places that would later become a source of inspiration for future oil paintings. During their return, Thomas and William spent several months in Canton and then returned to England the following year with the convoy of Lord Macartney.


Works such as the present lot, featuring well recognized Chinese harbor views, were produced by both Thomas and William in the years following their original visit. This canvas is the larger of Daniell’s two views of Canton. The smaller picture (sold London, Christie’s, 16 November 1999, lot 266) shows the European factories from the south-west. Views of Canton by William Daniell are in the Hong Kong Museum of Art; Yale Centre for British Art, Paul Mellon collection; Victoria Memorial, Calcutta; and in a private collection. Both Thomas and William also produced similarly composed views of Whampoa (see for example, New York, Sotheby’s, 24 January 2002, lot 38). These important pictorial records are the earliest of their type by a western artist, preceded only by John Webber's drawings, executed on Cook's third voyage (1779-80).


Trade between China and the West had proliferated for centuries by the time Daniell painted this picture, either through the Silk Road or maritime routes. With the closure of the silk routes across Persia to Asia by the Turks in the 14th and 15th centuries, Europeans looked for new ways to access the Far East and its highly coveted silk, tea, porcelains and luxury goods. The Portuguese were the first to achieve this at sea with Vasco da Gama, and the Spanish, Dutch and English quickly followed. By the end of the 18th century, England, Holland, France, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Spain and America all had an established presence in Canton, the only trading port open to foreigners as ordained by the Chinese court until the First Opium War. Images of this bustle of trade and commerce come down to us today in the form of China Trade Paintings, commissioned by merchants to take home as souvenirs. Interestingly many, if not all of the trading ports significant during this period remain highly important hubs of commerce today. Conveniently situated at the mouth of the Pearl River, Canton was the largest of all treaty ports and economically the most important city in Southern China. The city overlooked Honam Island where Western traders were occasionally entertained by wealthy Chinese merchants.