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

Shanghai Junks


[March - April 1850]



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From the Collection


"Shanghai, though only the port of the larger city Soochow, possesses an extensive trade, being well situated near the Imperial Canal, and close to the mouth of the great Yangtsekiang, one of the largest rivers in the world, and navigable for 400 or 500 miles. Shanghai is, I think, mentioned by Marco Polo, under another name, and accurately described by him".
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 368 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


Shanghai, China