Sold for HK$687,500 inc. premium
Own a similar item?
Submit your item online for a free auction estimate.How to sell
Looking for a similar item?
Our Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art specialists can help you find a similar item at an auction or via a private sale.Find your local specialist
Ask about this lot
An album with seven sections of a painting
Ink and colour on silk, comprising seven album leaves depicting scenes of the Qing military expedition to Tibet of 1720, leaf four with accompanying separate leaf with a kaishu inscription, detached album cover.
Each: 46cm (18 1/8in) x 39.5cm (15 1/2in) (9).
十八世紀早期 設色絹本圖冊七開 佚名
Lieutenant-Colonel T.S.Cox and thence by descent
Lieutenant-Colonel T.S.Cox time in China 1900 – 1902
Lieutenant-Colonel T.S.Cox graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy in 1892 and was commissioned in 1894 in the 16th Indian Cavalry, The Bengal Lancers. His noteworthy military service included in 1897, Tochi Field Force, N.W. Frontier; and in 1900, the China Expeditionary Force during the Boxer Rebellion, when he was awarded the US Military Order of the Dragon. In 1901 he was seconded as the Advisor to the Chinese Government and awarded an Imperial decoration by Shanqi, Prince Su (1866-1922). In 1903 he was elected to the Royal Geographical Society. In 1903 he served as Captain in the Indian Army; between 1904–1907, he was posted in the D.M.O. War Office, London, the Balkans, Asia Minor, Somaliland, Abyssinia, Russian central Asia, and Ottoman Middle East; in 1911 he was awarded the King George V Delhi Coronation Durbar medal. Between 1912-1913 he was posted in the Middle East and Central Asia. In 1915, he took part in the Gallipoli Campaign and in 1916 transferred to command the 37th Dogras. In 1917 he served in the Mesopotamian campaign and was wounded whilst serving in the Aden Field Force. In 1920 he served with the Waziristan Field Force, NW Frontier; in 1921 he transferred to command the 3rd Madras Regiment and in 1925 retired from the Indian Army as Lieutenant-Colonel.
July 1900: Cox was ordered to North China to join China Expeditionary Force to relieve the siege of the Beijing International Legation Area by Chinese 'Boxers'. Collected a troop of 16th Bengal Lancers in Hong Kong on August 15 1900 and disembarked at Sinho for Tianjin on September 11. Advanced on Beijing September/October 1900. Subsequently placed in charge of a 'Flying Column' sent to capture Boxer leaders at Baoding, a hundred miles south-west of Beijing. Campaign medal, and learned to speak Chinese. Passed 6-day Chinese language examination.
January - June 1901 worked for the British Military Commander, General Sir Alfred Gaselee, and awarded Military Order of the Dragon in April. July 1901 promoted Staff Captain and seconded to raise and train a Battalion of Chinese Railway Police, whose task was to guard the Beijing, Tongshan, and Tianjin districts for the British High Command, stationed at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.
January 1 – December 25 1902 Cox was the Officer Commanding Railway Police, Chinese Imperial Railways, most of this time under contract to the Chinese Imperial Government. In addition to this role, from June 1 to December 1902 he was 'Confidential Adviser' to His Imperial Highness Prince Su, Governor of Beijing (the Emperors uncle), and from August 15 to December 1902 also 'Confidential Adviser' to His Imperial Highness Prince Qing, Head of Chinese Octroi (Customs) Department. Cox received a Letter of Appreciation and was awarded a Chinese Imperial Decoration for his services. He left Beijing for India on December 25 1902.
The rare documentary series of paintings depict scenes commemorating the Qing military campaign in Tibet in 1720, when the Kangxi emperor sent an army to expel the Dzungar Mongols from Tibet and established a Chinese protectorate over the country.
In 1719, the Kangxi emperor mobilised two simultaneous invading forces to Tibet: a main expedition force of twelve thousand troops from Kokonor (modern day Qinghai province) and another force numbering three thousand troops (one thousand Manchu troops and two thousand Green Standard troops) departing from Sichuan province. Qing soldiers including elite Bannermen from the Eight Banners were called to arms for the war effort involving at least three divisions: Bordered Yellow Banner (鑲黃旗), Bordered Red Banner (鑲紅旗) and Bordered Blue Banner (鑲藍旗), as depicted on the present lot. The mastermind behind this campaign was Nian Gengyao (1679-1726), a Chinese military commander with extensive military experience on the western frontier of the Qing empire. On 24 September 1720, the Sichuan expedition conquered Lhasa; see Dai Yingcong, The Sichuan Frontier and Tibet: Imperial Strategy in the Early Qing, University of Washington Press, 2009, p.81.
The fourth section of the paintings is accompanied by inscription, which reads:
and can be translated as:
The military camps needs to prepare as many arrows and traps as possible,
cry of the eagles heard at dawn but our allies have yet to arrive.
Across the river are the ramparts of the enemy barbarians,
their swords and spears plenty in layers like mountains.
The leader of the enemy Chen Pier retreated,
he ordered Da Kezan to take command of three thousand troops,
and resisted us at the river.