The Costumes of China by Unknown Artist

A bound volume of 60 watercolours and a manuscript for George Henry Mason's 'Costume of China' and a printed copy.


Watercolour on paper & printed book
33.6 x 26.5 cm & 37 x 27.5 cm
Art Fund grant:
£5,000 ( Total: £17,000)
Acquired in:

The watercolours were painted anonymously in Canton in 1789 according to an inscription in the volume. In the printed version, each illustration bears the signature 'Pu Qua, Canton, Delin.'; however nothing is known of such artist. Large quantities of watercolours were produced in Canton for the foreign market in the second half of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).


A bookplate in the printed volume states library of Sir Hugh H Smiley, Bt.; included in the purchase of a house by vendor's father in 1932; then by descent.

Venue details

Ashmolean Museum Beaumont Street, OXFORD Oxfordshire OX1 2PH 01865 278000

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