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REF: CEN 637

The Coolie Ship Avon under Full Sail. Attributed to Lai Fong of Calcutta (1890-1910)
Oil painting of the coolie ship Avon, a three masted iron sailing ship built by Charles Connell of Glasgow.
Originally called the Dunolly she was re-named the Avon in 1890. She was primarily used by the Nourse Line for the transportation of Indian indentured labourers to the colonies. The Avon was a fast ship sailing from Calcutta to St Helena in 62 days.

Painted by Lai Fong 1870-1900. Lai Fong was one of a group of Chinese marine painters who worked for the captains and merchants of the oriental trade. Painting portraits of their ships in oil on canvas. While most of these painters worked in Canton, Whampoa, Hong Kong or Shanghai, only one, Lai Fong, worked outside of China in the Indian port of Calcutta. Although many China Trade painters signed or labeled their canvases, Lai Fong was one of the few to regularly date them. From these dates we can see an active painter who worked from the middle 1870s through about 1905. During that period he painted vessels from across the globe. Lai Fong successfully melded the conventions of European and American ship portrait painting with the China Trade oil painting style that developed after 1800.

HEIGHT: 30¾" (78 cm)
WIDTH: 40¼" (102 cm)

£4,800

coolie ship painting

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