• Study of a Tanka Girl -
    Price on request

    Pen and brown ink and pencil 13.9 by 7 cm., 5 ¼ by 2 ¾ in.

    Provenance:

    Bought at the Albany Gallery, London, in 1992; By descent until 2019

    Chinnery was a landscape and portrait painter who studied at the Royal Academy Schools and spent some time in Dublin before abandoning his family and moving to Madras in 1802. He remained in India living in Madras, Calcutta, Dacca and Serampore before moving to Macao in 1825 to escape debts and his wife. He spent the rest of his life in Macao, Canton and Hong Kong. He painted portraits of European merchants and produced landscape drawings in pencil and watercolour often inscribed with his own shorthand.

    The Tanka people’s name derived from their ‘egg-boats’ – wide, rounded sampans, with one or more curved rattan roofs in the centre of the boats. The Tanka lived along the coast at Macau, Whampoa and Hong Kong, largely in their boats, or as at Macau, creating temporary shelters by raising their boats onto stones or wooden stilts and added thatching or hurdles. They formed a distinct ethnic group and consequently were discouraged by the Chinese authorities from assimilating into mainland China. The Tanka were a fishing community, but by the early 19th century, also made their living by taking westerners from their larger ships, across the shallow straits in their flat-bottomed boats.

    It was nearly always the women who rowed the boats and Chinnery made numerous studies and rapid sketches, as well as finished paintings of the Tanka women. Renowned for their gentle nature and good humour, the Tanka women with their simple costume, red headscarf and broad-brimmed straw hat, became almost a romantic symbol of the Chinese coast for the western merchants and images of the Tanka became popular, sentimental souvenirs of their time in Asia.

  • Study for a Portrait of the Marjoribanks Family -
    Price on request

    Pen and black ink over traces of pencil on laid paper 11.2 by 8.9 cm., 4 ¼  by 3 ½ in.

    Provenance:

    Leonard G. Duke (D2535) (1890-1971);

    By whom given to Dudley Snelgrove (19061992), his sale, Sotheby’s, 19th November 1992, lot 332; By descent until 2019

    This drawing appears to relate to a family portrait which has traditionally been identified as being of the Marjoribanks family (HSBC Holdings plc). However, as Patrick Conner has pointed out, ‘Chinnery’s portraits of westerners on the China coast pose …problems of identification’. (P. Conner, George Chinnery 1774 – 1852, Artist of India and the China Coast, 1999, p. 218).

    Charles Marjoribanks joined the Canton office of the East India Company in 1813 and became President of the Select Committee in 1830, responsible for the Company’s Chinese operations. He also owned the Hythe, the ship by which Chinnery sailed to Macao from Calcutta in February 1825. Marjoriebanks fell ill and was invalided back to England in January 1832. We know that the Marjoriebanks’ sat to Chinnery, as on a drawing of the Factories at Canton, Chinnery noted, in his characteristic shorthand,

    ‘Mr Marjoriebanks’ picture taken home on the York [the ship that the Marjoribanks themselves returned on] January 1832’ (P. Conner, op. cit, p.220).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             51



  • Study of a Chinese Figure -
    Sold

    pencil

    8.2 by 7.3cm., 3 1/2 by 2 3/4 inches

     

    Provenance:

    With Bill Drummond

  • View on the Waterfront, Macao -
    Sold

    inscribed upper left in his shorthand: +Ju. 16. 1833

    pencil

    11 x 20.1cm., 4 ? x 7 ? inches

     

    Chinnery was a landscape and portrait painter who studied at the Royal Academy Schools and spent some time in Dublin before abandoning his family and moving to Madras in 1802. He remained in India living in Madras, Calcutta, Dacca and Serampore before moving to Macao in 1825 to escape debts and his wife. He spent the rest of his life in Macao, Canton and Hong Kong. He painted portraits of European merchants and produced landscape drawings in pencil and watercolour often inscribed with his own shorthand

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