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decorative arts & objects





Twelve Processions

Circa 1870

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Ships from: London, United Kingdom

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Chinese export watercolors.

  • Sold as a set of 12.
  • Watercolor and gouache studies on pith paper, framed in giltwood and blue silk ribbon.
  • Pith came into use for painting to satisfy the increasing demand for small, inexpensive and easily transported souvenirs, following the massive growth in the China Trade in the first quarter of the 19th century.
  • Paintings in oils, on board and canvas were costly and difficult to carry home.
  • Earlier and more prestigious export watercolors had often been on a larger scale and painted on fine Chinese paper or on paper imported from Europe.
  • The albums of pith paintings (and later, the little glass fronted boxes) were inexpensive, light, easy to pack and gave the pictures some protection on the long voyage home.
  • Pith comes from the central column of spongy cellular tissue in the stem of a small tree called Tetrapanax Papyrifera, native to southwest China.
  • It has had a variety of uses, some going back many centuries.
  • Framed and glazed.

Condition Report

Star iconVery Good
Like New

Not examined out of frame.

Wear consistent with age.


Height: 9.25 inches / 23.5 cm
Width: 12.99 inches / 33 cm


Paper, Gilt Wood, Silk, Glass

Decorative Style

Asian Decorative Arts

Country of Origin


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