Rare Tingqua export painting coming up at Bonhams

248, Tea preparation  Tingqua (1809-1870)

The Tingqua  tea trade export painting which comes up at Bonhams this week

This week in London is, of course, a bumper week for Asian art sales, set in the context of Asian Art in London. There is a plethora of goodies but this picture which comes up in the Bonhams sale on Tuesday has caught our eye.

It is a rare export painting by Tingqua (1809-1870), estimated at £20,000 – 30,000 (Lot 248), depicting various stages involved in the production and preparation of tea. Reckoned to be the most famous and prolific of all Chinese watercolour and gouache painters, he was known to foreigners as Tingqua, though his true name was Kwan Luen Chin. Tingqua was the brother of Lamqua, an accomplished Chinese painter in the Western style who had been the protégé of the English painter George Chinnery.

Tingqua chose gouache and watercolours as his medium in part out of familial deference to his older brother, who worked primarily in oils. Tingqua’s studio at 16 China Street, Canton, specialised in gouache and watercolour paintings influenced by Western artistic traditions. These works became known in America primarily through the American China trader Augustine Heard, who brought a substantial collection of Tingqua paintings back to the United States circa 1855. These are now located at the renowned collection in The Peabody Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

Rare pair of Cantonese ‘nodding figures’ for sale at BADA

nodding figures

An extremely rare pair of Cantonese export so-called ‘nodding figures’ will be available for purchase at the annual fair of The British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA) in London (www.bada-antiques-fair.co.uk), which runs from March 19-25 at Duke of York Square in Chelsea.

The two figures, dating from the Quianlong period, will be available from the Frank Partridge stand (www.frankpartridge.co.uk). The polychrome decorated figures, of a mandarin and his female consort, have lead weighted nodding heads and Partridges point out that a number of Chinese figures of this type were displayed in the corridor of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. Such figures enjoyed something of a vogue in Britain and Europe during the second half of the 18th century and were imported from Canton in relatively large numbers from the 1780s. The Prince of Wales (later George IV) is said to have sparked the ‘craze’ when he created his Chinese drawing room in Carlton House, and the Oriental interiors at the Brighton Pavilion.

The figures for sale are 56cm. in height and are mounted on the original moulded giltwood base.

The BADA Fair, an annual event, is the leading event of its type and all entries are strictly vetted.