This is an attractive antique view of Hong Kong harbour, drawn by an Englishman in the first half of the 19th century. The view shows the harbour in the distance, framed by tall mountains. In the foreground, merchants and peasants dressed in traditional garments carry their goods to and from the bay. Small fishing vessels sail through the bay, with larger European and Chinese ships stationed in the background. The view is tastefully colored and delicately engraved.
Hong Kong had been ceded to the United Kingdom in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking, a likely reason why this work was published. Administrative infrastructure on the peninsula was rapidly built, and new Chinese immigrants settled during the 1850s in order to escape troubles on the mainland. The cession of this territory represented the first of many major concessions by China to western powers.
This work was originally published in the four-volume work China, in a Series of Views, Displaying the Scenery, Architecture, and Social Habits of That Ancient Empire. This work appeared between 1843 and 1847 and was illustrated by Thomas Allom, written by the Reverend G. N. Wright, and published by Fisher and Son.