From the early 19th century and on into the 1870s with the exciting & dangerous smuggling of opium, the China trade route has been an important area in commerce. The competition between the Dutch and English, followed by America and England, for the growing tea trade contributed to a worldwide focus in the orient trade. As a result, captains commissioned talented Chinese artists to document the vessels whose reputation for speed and efficiency were breaking all records.
Through time, this school of painting has shown a very strong and continued response in the marine art market, with several factors which define this success. The first is due to the fine esthetic qualities that these works possess: traditional portraits colored with the romance of the era. Another consideration reflects the artistic accuracy and attention to detail. This was mandated by the officers who originally commissioned the works. Thirdly, the historic importance of the various ships and their connections to the greater economic and social changes they assisted in bringing about makes the work among the most highly prized of period marine art.
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