Purchased by the father of the present owner; thence by descent
Under British rule since 1842, in the eighteenth and nineteenth century Hong Kong became one of the greatest trade ports in the East. The present view depicts a busy harbour, with clippers, steam boats and Chinese sampans. This work would appear to predate 1861, which is when the flag tower was installed on Victoria Peak (compare with the view in lot 13).
The canvas has been lined and is somewhat undulated on its stretcher. There is a pattern of craquelure throughout. Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals extensive areas of retouching throughout the composition, notably in sky, some of which are also visible to the naked eye. As 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."