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

Shanghai River


[March - April 1850]



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From the Collection


Shanghai is situated on a small river, which runs into the Yangtsekiang at Woosung Point, about eighteen miles from the town. The "Lady Mary Wood" anchored off Woosung just before sunset and I instantly took a boat for Shanghai. But the wind going down with the sun, we did not arrive there till nearly eleven at night.
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 358 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