Opium Ships
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Since 1763 the name 'Russborough' has been synonymous with collecting and dealing in fine art. In the closing decades of the last century the historic town of Port Hope has become home to Lord Russborough's Annex, which specialises in an individual mix of antique maps, paintings and prints.

While Lord Russborough's Annex features a great many works of museum calibre, we also offer a wonderful selection of prints priced at under $100.

An extract of our prints currently available:

Duncan after Huggins  Opium Ships at Lintin, China 1834

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THE 19TH CENTURY OPIUM DRUG CRISIS

 Opium Ships off Lintin China

E. Duncan after W. J. Huggins 

 THE OPIUM SHIPS AT LINTIN IN CHINA, 1834

From a painting in the possession of John Gover esq. by W.J. Huggins marine painter to his late Majesty William the 4th. originally published London 1836.

Hand coloured late impression, double matted, glazed, silver-gilt wood frame.
Plate size 18 ½ x 26” (47 x 66 cm.) Frame 26 ½ x 30 ½"
Ref. PR4 (183)/DRL/s.ando> RRL      PRICE CODE B

Off the precipitous Chinese coast at Lintin Island (nei Linding Island, Shenzhen in the Pearl River Estuary, Guangdong SE. China) lie a British East India-man, American and Dutch armed trading ships together with four Chinese Junks and various other vessels.

In the late 18th century, the British East India Company or EIC, contravening Chinese laws, began smuggling Indian opium to China through various means, and became the leading suppliers by 1773.  By 1787, the Company was illegally sending 4,000 chests of opium to China a year, each chest weighing 170 lbs. or 77 kilos. By 1828, opium accounted for 16% of the EIC's total revenue, while 10% of British government taxes came from the tea imported as a result.
By 1833, the number of chests of opium trafficked into China soared to 30,000, resulting in 10–12 million Chinese addicts and devastated the large coastal Chinese cities. In 1834, however, the East India Company monopoly ceased. The illegal trade, however, continued. In 1839 the Chinese Emperor issued an edict ordering the seizure of all the opium in Canton, including that held by foreign governments. China's economy was the largest in the world for many centuries, until the two 19th. cent Opium Wars during the Great Qing dynasty. Prior to the First Opium War (1839-42), China was a net exporter, and had large trade surpluses with most Western countries. Within a decade after the end, and as a result of the Second Opium War (1856-60), China's share of global GDP had fallen by half, and its sovereignty over its territory was seriously compromised until the end of World War II, and the Return of Hong Kong and Macao at the end of the 20th century.

William John Huggins (1781-1845) was a marine artist who began his career sailing with he East India Company, progressing to drawing the company's ships . He was appointed marine artist to William IV to paint official records of ships and battles. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, British Institute and Suffolk St.(RSBA)

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