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2022 Fall Fine Art and Interiors Auction

Sat, Oct 8, 2022 09:00AM EDT
Lot 473

James Fulton Archive, incl. Chinese Paintings, Poss. Tingqua or Youqua, ALS

Estimate: $300 - $350

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
Six (6) items relating to the Fulton Family of Tennessee, including a James Fulton ALS and an album of 8 Chinese paintings acquired in Hong Kong in 1860 by Fulton, who served as Pay Director of the U.S. Navy and was stationed onboard the U.S.S. Saginaw. The Saginaw served in the East India Squadron and was charged with cruising the Chinese coast to protect American citizens and suppress pirates. 1st item: Chinese School, possibly studio of Guan Lianchang (Tingqua) or Youqua, Hong Kong, album containing eight (8) finely detailed paintings, gouache on rice paper. 2 paintings depicting birds and 6 depicting Chinese figures engaged in ceremonial court and everyday activities. Pages measure 13" x 9". Circa 1860. 2nd item: ALS double-sided bifolium handwritten letter from James Fulton, from Hong Kong, to his brother Alfred Fulton, dated November 23, 1860. The letter directly references the actions of Cornelius Kinchiloe Stribling who was Commander of the East India Squadron at the time. Writing in response to a previous letter from Alfred regarding an altercation with Stribling, James states "...I should have pursued when ordered to leave money &c aboard the Saginaw...I would have disobeyed Commodore Stribling's order, but the protest that I forwarded to the Secretary of the Navy through him, will in my opinion relieve my bondsmen from all responsibility should any occur. Commodore Stribling acted very badly in the affair...". Despite his apparent issues with Stribling's command, James expresses his appreciation for most of his shipmates aboard the Saginaw, which he explains is currently in Japan for eight or ten days while he remains in Hong Kong. Written shortly after the Convention of Peking or First Convention of Peking, October 1860, that resulted in the end of Second Opium War, fought 1856-60, James mentions how pleasant he finds the city and that " is an English city. The whole island belongs to them...". He then refers to Alfred's previous letter by discussing family matters, and shares his thoughts on the recent 1860 Presidential election and the impending Civil War, stating "...I suppose however Lincoln will be our next President. The days of our Republic seem to be numbered I would like to see the United States give England another good doubling before they separate...". He ends the letter by mentioning that he is expecting a letter from "...some body..." and that the best way to direct letters to him is via Marseille, France. Includes a handwritten partial transcription. 3rd-4th items: U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland printed flyer announcing the funeral of James Fulton, to occur in the Naval Academy chapel at half-past two o'clock on Wednesday, April 10, 1895. Issued by P.H. Cooper, Captain, U.S.N. Superintendent, April 9, 1895. The lot also includes a color photocopy of the flyer and photocopy of a carte-de-visite of Fulton. Also includes U.S. Army Medical Department yellow envelope, not postmarked. 5th-6th items: Two (2) ALS. Handwritten bifolium letters, both from James Fulton, Esq., New Orleans, LA and Washington, D.C., to his wife Mary Fulton, Fayetteville, TN, dated May 3, 1845 and December 6, 1846. Both letters primarily refer to his business of selling cotton, his travel plans, and that he is anxious to return home. Includes a two page partial color photocopy of the 1845 letter.

Property of the Lincoln County Museum, Fayetteville, TN; Bequest of Mary Bright Wilson (1909-2004), formerly of Fayetteville, and descended in her family.


1st item: Extremely fragile condition. Covers are detached and frayed with losses. Most pages have become separated and all have varying degrees of losses, some significant (up to 6"). 2nd item: Paper is thin, rendering it slightly difficult to read. Areas of loss, largest 1" x 4 3/4", to top center. 3rd-6th items: All items in overall good condition with toning, foxing spots, minor tears, areas of loss, to be expected from age and manner of use.

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