China trade paintings have shown a very strong and consistent appeal in the marine art market. The intrinsic value of these paintings with their traditional portrait style combined with the romantic qualities they possess make them sought after worldwide by both marine & non-marine collectors.
The era of China Trade shipping is part of an important and exciting period of western maritime history. Also known as Chinese Export paintings, these primitive or naive images are traditionally unsigned. Less than a dozen names of the skilled Chinese artists who created them are even known.
The BELLEROPHON was a sail/steam vessel of 2,154 tons launched in 1880. The smokestack in this painting shows the distinctive black and blue livery of Sir Alfred Holt's Blue Funnel line which operated the vessel until 1898. British sailors served on the “Billy Ruffian” and her like in the last true dominance of the merchant marine over air cargo worldwide. The 320 foot BELLEROPHON ended her sea service in Japan where she was broken up for scrap in 1923.
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