The Sampans from Canton

F H af Chapman’s Chinese Gouaches



ISBN: 9789163972027 Category:

Kurt Almqvist, Kenneth Nyberg, Svante Nordin, Magnus Olausson, Kerstin Barup, Torbjörn Lodén, Jeremy Franks


The Sampans from Canton is a collection of ninety-nine Chinese gouaches from the second half of the eighteenth century that depict in minute detail an entire community afloat on the water, with the various sampan vessels used for everything from the sale of fruit and religious ceremonies to warfare and thievery. For more than 200 years, the gouaches hung in Skärfva Manor House, the home of Vice Admiral Fredric Henric af Chapman, on the outskirts of Karlskrona, Sweden. In 2014, the collection was broken up for auction. Today they can be found at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Engelsberg Ironworks; they are a unique chronicle of the dream of China and contacts between east and west.

This book, the first detailed account of the collection, examines the gouaches from both an art historical and a cultural perspective. They serve as an important entry into the eighteenth-century world of ideas and as a way of understanding Fredric Henric af Chapman’s great importance as a collector and visionary. A separate booklet of essays highlights the images in their art-historical context.

Additional information

Weight 2502 g
Dimensions 27.9 x 37.2 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 25 October 2019
Number of pages 268
Format Hardback
Dimensions 27.9 x 37.2 cm
Weight 2502 g


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “The Sampans from Canton”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Kurt Almqvist is President of the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation for Public Benefit. Kenneth Nyberg is associate professor of history at the University of Gothenburg. Svante Nordin is professor emeritus of the history of ideas and sciences at Lund University. Magnus Olausson is associate professor and Head of Collections and Research at Nationalmuseum, Sweden. Kerstin Barup is professor of architectural conservation and restoration at Lund University. Torbjörn Lodén is professor emeritus of Chinese language and culture at Stockholm University.