Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life. Sunqua Studio.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.
Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.

Pith Painting album ~ A Chinese Life.

Canton: Sunqua stamped, c. 1840. An enchanting album illustrating "A Chinese Life". The first image of the birth is suffused with love, showing the mother on a birthing chair; the baby being bathed; the scissors for the cord; a cup of tea prepared for the mother. The second image shows the father holding the newborn, shaving the head for the first time. The third, the mother nursing, and there follows the childhood, education, manhood, marriage, paying of respect and mourning the death of our protagonist.

The National Palace Museum exhibited a very similar album in 2020, attributing it to Guan Lianchang (1809-1870), Qing dynasty. Guan "whose style name was Junqing, was a native of Nanhai in Guangdong province. A renowned painter of works intended for export who lived during the middle years of the Qing dynasty, Guan was known abroad by the name Tingqua." However, this album is clearly stamped "Sunqua" inside the front board.

12 images, pale blue silk borders around plates, bound in colorful period silk with a flower, daisy and vine design. Oblong, 14 x 10". Slight foxing on most plates, corners chipped (1, 6, 7) and the top margin of plate 11; 2 cracks in blank area of plate 3.

Descriptions in quotes below are drawn from the National Palace Museum copy.
plate 1 - "Birth of a Child" - woman giving birth, scissors, birthing chair, cup of tea, baby bathed.
2- : Shaving the head for the first time" - father holding newborn.
3- " Child in the hands of the nurse" - mother breast feeding, 3 women in attendance, cup of tea.
4- " Boys at school" - young scholar studying, teacher, 3 other students
5- " A Scholar paying his respects to his old teacher" - now a man, graduation from studies, professor & 2 attendants.
6- " Offerings for the soul of the departed"- celebration of graduation, feast laid out on table, young man in center, 4 including professor wearing dark blue, 2 servants.
7- " Marriage" - young man being received by the family. tea being served. Parents seated in the center; siblings surrounding.
8- " Paying respects to a mandarin" - Two young man being presented for a patronage job? With 8 other figures, wearing different hats.
9- " An old mandarin going home with honors from the emperor" - a grand litter in deep blue & gold, carrying an old man, carried by 8 people.
10- "Celebrating the Birthday of His Aged Parents" - Young man being presented to a Mandarin husband & wife, the young man kneeling. Six attendants and four musicians.
11- "Preparing His Will"- Older man at an accounting table, with an abacus, sheet of writing, an open chest to his right, nine people total.
12- "The Soul of this Mortal has Departed" - mourning the death of the man, who is laid out on a raised table, men and women in mourning white with incense burning. Item #27224

Price: $4,500.00

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