Purchased by the father of the present owner; thence by descent
Lacking the experience to navigate the Pearl River, western captains would stop in Macao to hire Chinese pilots to continue their journey to Whampoa Island, today known as Pazhou Island, the deep-water anchorage and loading point for western fleets. From here, the final leg of the journey to shore would be by Chinese sampan.
The canvas has been lined and is somewhat undulated on its stretcher. There is a small spot of paint loss closer to the centre of the lower edge, as visible in the catalogue illustration. There is a pattern of craquelure throughout, however not too distracting. Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals extensive areas and spots of retouching throughout the composition, notably in the sky and in the sea. The main composition appears to be virtually untouched. As also visible in the catalogue illustration, there is a layer of varnish which has somewhat degraded in time thus affecting the appearance of the painting. This work would benefit from cleaning and restoration.
Presented in a Chinese ebonised frame with a nameplate. "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."