Wooden figure of a prisoner in a cangue, probably used by a missionary to accompany a talk while on home leave
These items were acquired by the great-uncle of the donor, Christopher Bass Mears II, in China where he worked from 1882 to 1912 for the Imperial Chinese Customs. Mr Mears' letter to the curator includes the following: 'They were principally acquired soon after 1900, when all his original possessions were destroyed in the Boxer rebellion. Many of the items appear in photographs of his home in Peking which he has dated 1907, and are therefore typical of wares that ordinary British overseas workers and tourists bought as Chinese 'curios' at that period just before the Sun Yat Sen revolution of 1912, the terminal decade of the Chinese Imperial system. Upon retirement in 1912 he and his wife returned to this country and settled in Brighton, with these objects.'