China in Print and on Paper at Sotheby’s

Two of the most significant private collections of Chinese material are coming together to be sold at Sotheby’s in what is sure to be a landmark auction. “China in Print and Paper” includes the collections of Bernard Hanotiau in Belgium and Floyd Sully in Canada. The sale will be held at 1:00 p.m. on November 7 in London, preceded by public exhibition from November 3-6 as part of the annual Asian Art event at Sotheby’s.


Combined, the two collections demonstrate a rich history of cartography, exploration, trade and diplomacy between China and the West for over 500 years. The books, maps, photographs and works on paper reveal different perspectives on China, both from inhabitants of China and travelers passing through.


Lot 15 Martini Blaeu Atlas.jpg


Bernard Hanotiau’s library focuses on Western travelers in China and includes the the first edition of Marco Polo’s travels in French from 1556 (lot 146), the first European Atlas of China from 1655 (lot 15, pictured above), photographs by one of the first people to publish his photographs of the people and landscapes of China, John Thomson (lot 170), and photographs of Beijing taken in the 1870s by Thomas Child (lot 122, selection pictured below).


Lot 122, Thomas Child (i).jpg

Lot 212, Qianren Huang, The Blu Map.jpg


Floyd Sully’s collection focuses on depictions of China in maps and drawings. Much of his collection (lot 212 pictured above, lot 226 pictured below), includes rare maps, photographs, illustrated texts, drawings, and watercolors that were created in China. 

Lot 222, Shanxi Province.jpg


Images Courtesy of Sotheby’s.



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