Painted clay figure of a European merchant by Amoy Chinqua


Signed and dated 1719, China

款識標為1719年 中國

Height of figure: 29.5 cm , 11.6 inches


Figure with stand: 33 cm, 13 inches


It is likely that this is a portrait of a merchant employed by the East India Company. Beneath an elaborately detailed campaign wig, with knotted ends (suitable for active rather than formal wear), his painted clay face is finely sculpted – with great realism. Although we cannot be certain who is represented, the figure bears some striking resemblance to a painting in the National Maritime Museum (1711, by P. Trampon), of Robert Knox (1641 – 1720), sea-captain, merchant and write.

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