No date. Late Edo. Stock ID #157030
Manuscript in black and red ink on two joined sheets. Illustrated 80 x 27.5cm. Stained along upper edge and occasionally extending into the text, some minor insect damage. This neatly executed pen and ink illustration shows the Second Battle of the Dagu Forts guarding the mouth of the river leading to Tientsin during the Second Opium War in which the Anglo-French force was comprehensively defeated and was forced to retreat. The Japanese text incorrectly says "Guiliang prepared the treaty with 56 articles in Shanghai" whereas of course this should read "in Tianjin".
Guiliang (1785-1862) the Chinese Imperial Commissioner had in July 1858 been party to the first Treaty of Tianjin with Russia, America, England and France. In this treaty it was stated that these foreign powers had the right to enter Peking to ratify the treaty in 1859. The Chinese recognising what a disaster this would be, over the months that followed the writing of the treaty, tried to change this part of the agreement without success. When an Anglo-French fleet tried to force their way into the river to get to Tianjin, and thence to Peking, having met little resistance in 1858, this second time they were met with unexpected and great opposition and obliged to withdraw. (When referring to this item please quote stockid 157030).