Courtesy of a private collector | Licence: All Rights Reserved
Courtesy of a private collector | Licence: All Rights Reserved

Junks in a storm, Woosung


[March - April 1850]



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From the Collection


Off Chinchew we passed through a whole fleet of fishing-boats, comfortably riding at the end of their nets. All under very little sail with their rudders hoisted out of the water. They are capital sea boats, and rode most buoyantly over the long seas. The Chinese know when a typhoon is coming. The barometer gives due warning and Reid’s "Hand-book of Storms" is of great assistance.
This is a page from a unique leather-bound volume of Robert Elwes’ travelogue 'A Sketcher's Tour Round the World', first published 1854, (see page 372 for corresponding passage).
The book contains the printed text of the manuscript but remarkably, the monochrome wash illustrations are hand painted by Elwes. The book bears a handwritten inscription ‘Mary F Elwes from her affect. husband Robert Elwes Jan 25 1878’, dated after Robert Elwes became ill at Congham, his Norfolk home. On 28th January 1878 , their youngest daughter Violet noted in her diary: “Papa much worse”. Less than three months later, Robert Elwes died on 17th April aged 58.

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Courtesy of a private collector

From the Watercolour World


Quanzhou, China