© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND
© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

A Chinese junk in the Bocca Tigris of the Pearl River [Canton]

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From the Collection


Signed by artist. A view of what appears to be an Amoy trading junk in the Humen (or to Europeans the Bocca Tigris or Bogue) the fortified narrows where the Pearl River up to Canton meets the China Sea. Westall worked briefly in Canton in 1803, after arriving there in the Indiaman 'Rolla' which had sailed from Sydney with the schooner 'Cumberland' to pick up those marooned on Wreck Reef about 700 miles north after the loss there of HM sloop 'Porpoise' and the storeship 'Cato' on 10 August. Westall had been returning to England with Matthew Flinders in the former following his work on Flinders' Australian survey when the wrecks occurred and chose to join 'Rolla' going on to Canton. He reached England, after further work in Bombay, in later 1804. Both places provided him with more commercial subjects than his Australian experience and some were incorporated in his successful engraved 'Foreign Scenery' of 1811. This drawing, signed and dated 1808, also has an inscription 'No.3. Bocca Tigris-Canton' but the significance is not yet clear.

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© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

From the Watercolour World


Humen, South China Sea