Spoilum's Lord Macartney painting could make $175,000

The Viceroy of Canton Receives Lord Macartney (circa 1794), a painting attributed to the school of Spoilum (1770-1810), is valued at $125,000-175,000 ahead of a sale at Christie's.

The lot will headline the Chinese Export Art auction, comprised of items produced by China for the Western market, which will take place in New York on January 27.

Spoilum Viceroy Canton Christies
The painting commemorates the meeting between the viceroy of Canton and Lord Macartney

It commemorates the reception of the first British envoy to China, who was sent to negotiate the easing of trade between the two nations.

The mission proved largely unsuccessful, as the imperial court rejected his request for a permanent embassy - and the event is seen today as something of a failure of communication between East and West.

Spoilum was one of the earliest Chinese painters to fully adopt Western techniques and is thought to have travelled in Europe and America before returning to Guangzhou, known at the time as Canton, where he opened a portrait studio.

Last year, a pair of portraits by the artist realised $401,000 at Northeast Auctions in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

A large export porcelain armorial dinner service is valued at $70,000-100,000.

By the 18th century, the trade in Chinese porcelain was in decline in Europe due to the establishment of a number of major kilns.

The lot dates to 1770 and was produced for William Maxwell, sixth earl of Nithsdale, with each piece stamped with his coat of arms.

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