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PRINT BY: S (?) Sparrow
DATE: late 18C
METHOD: Line engraving
IMAGE SIZE: 11.25 by 7.5 inches to platemark
NOTES: A “Prospect of the PORCELANE TOWER at Nan King in China”, engraved for “Millar’s New Complete & Universal System of Geography”. A plate from one of the popular educational texts of the 18C. In the era before photography, prints like this were the principal source of information for many people. Often such views are rather slight and of dubious accuracy, as they were more often than not drawn second hand. This view of the pagoda seems quite convincing! Nanking was the capital of China’s Kiangsu province. The Porcelain Tower was its most famous monument, started in 1413 and claimed to stand 260 feet high, it was often described as one of the wonders of the mediaeval world. It was clad in white porcelain panels, with the roofs in green porcelain tiles. The monuments of Nanking were destroyed during the T’aip’ing rebellion in 1853. Sparrow was a real ‘jobbing printer’ – one of his better works.
CONDITION: Very good
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