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East Sails WestThe Voyage of the Keying, 1846-1855$
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Stephen Davies

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208203

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208203.001.0001

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Origins, Purchase and Commissioning

Origins, Purchase and Commissioning

(p.29) Chapter 1 Origins, Purchase and Commissioning
East Sails West

Stephen Davies

Hong Kong University Press

The Keying was undertaken by a group of Hong Kong investors. Their aim was to sail the junk from Hong Kong to London, where it would be put on public display, along with the collection of Chinese artefacts that it carried, and earn the investors a handsome return. This was possibly an attempt to cash in on enthusiasm in London for‘things Chinese’, fomented by Nathan Dunn’s exhibition. Yet the Keying enterprise serve as a commentary on the backward culture of China, and the junk itself demonstrate the peculiarities of Chinese naval architecture. In the mid-1840s, part of the British public perceived the First Opium War as a disgrace, the Keying enterprise could be seen as an attempt to‘redress’ this perception.

Keywords:   China, Hong Kong, Britain, Keying, Junk, Nathan Dunn, Naval, First Opium War, Maritime

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