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Joseph Collet

Joseph Collet, by Amoy Chinqua, 1716 -NPG 4005 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Joseph Collet

by Amoy Chinqua
33 in. (838 mm) high
NPG 4005

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed on the base: AMOY CHINQVA FECIT 1716.

This portraitback to top

An early example of 18th-century Chinese portrait-figures made for the export market; NPG 4005 was modelled in Madras and completed by 14 December 1716 when the sitter sent it to his daughter Elisabeth as 'a sort of Picture or Image of my Self. The lineaments and the Features are Esteem'd very just but the complexion is not quite so well hit; the proportion of my body and my habit is very exact'. [1]
A similar figure, possibly by Chinqua, was with Captain J. Duveen, 1963. A figure of a different pattern, of Edward Harrison, [2] governor of Madras, c.1715, may be by a member of the same family. Though usually taken to be a family name, R. J. Charleston suggests that Amoy Chinqua might be interpreted as 'a Chinese artist who came from Amoy'.

Footnotesback to top

1) The Private Letter Books of Joseph Collet, ed. H. H. Dodwell, 1933, pp 140-1.
2) D. T. Piper, The English Face, 1957, pl.145.

Physical descriptionback to top

Dark brown eyes, full face, hot brown complexion, grey full-bottomed wig; white shirt and cravat, red coat with gold lace, mauve embroidered waistcoat and breeches, black boots, black hat in crook of his left arm, his right hand resting on a cane.

Conservationback to top

Well preserved; on acquisition, small areas of the coat and waistcoat which had broken away from near the third button down were made up in plaster of Paris and given a thin coat of putty and colour, several missing coat buttons were replaced by replicas, the sword hilt repaired and the grip replaced; the dowel for the right hand was also strengthened at that time, and again in 1959.

Provenanceback to top

Presented, 1956, by the sitter's descendant, W. P. G. Collet.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

View all known portraits for Joseph Collet


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