Rare Tingqua tea trade painting for sale at Art Antiques London

248, Tea preparation  Tingqua (1809-1870)

There is a particularly interesting Chinese painting which will be available for sale at Art Antiques London when it opens for business in Hyde Park on June 24.

It is a rare export painting by Tingqua (1809-1870, 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.

An example of his tea trade work – not quite so fine as this one – came up for auction in the last few weeks and was knocked down for £10,000. This example will be exhibited for sale on the stand of H A Gibson Antiques.

Art Antiques London features three Asian Art in London participants

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A general view of the stand at Art Antiques London featuring three participants in this year’s Asian Art in London event. Foreground: two soldier Chinese vases available from Gibson Antiques at £300,000.                       Photo Paul Harris

The Art Antiques London exhibition, in tented accommodation in Kensington Gardens, and which has run from June 12 and ends June 18, features a number of exhibitors selling Asian art, including three participants in this year’s Asian Art in London. Last year, Asian Art in London had a pavilion within the fair featuring a wider spread of participants but, this year, just three showed a range of Asian art: Gibson Antiques, Berwald Oriental Art (both showing mainly Chinese ceramics) and Jacqueline Simcox (textiles).

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Alastair Gibson of Gibson Antiques pictured at Art Antiques London  Photo Paul Harris

Other exhibitors with Asian antiques included Luis Alegria LDA (Porto, Portugal), Marchant (Kensington Church Street, London), Laura Bordignon (Japanese), and D & M Freedman (Japanese and Chinese ceramics and paintings).

Art Antiques London describes itself as ‘the jewel in the Crown’ of the London summer season. It most certainly enjoys an unrivalled location and ambience in Kensington Gardens, a stone’s throw from The Royal Albert Hall. As all the major exhibition organisers get increasingly sophisticated, the organisers, Anna and Brian Haughton, pay great attention to those details which enhance an exhibition: from the learned lecture programme which accompanies the event to the exquisite toilet accommodation which must surely be the best of any event!

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Lion dog finial gracing one of the two soldier vases available from Gibson Antiques.                  Photo Paul Harris