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Semphyo-Kyoon. White Elephant Island

Semphyo-Kyoon. White Elephant Island

Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)

Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: WD540(57)

Item number: 54057

Length: 223

Width: 310

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour with pen and ink of steamers and boats off Senphyoogoon or White Elephant Island on the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River in Magway from 'A Series of Views in Burmah taken during Major Phayre’s Mission to the Court of Ava in 1855' by Colesworthy Grant on 14 August 1855. This album consists of 106 landscapes and portraits of Burmese and Europeans documenting the British embassy to the Burmese King, Mindon Min (r.1853-1878).

The mission started out from Rangoon (Yangon) and travelled up the Irrawaddy to the royal capital of Amarapura in central Burma. It was despatched by the Governor-General of India, Lord Dalhousie and headed by Arthur Phayre. Grant (1813-1880) was sent as official artist of the mission. Together with a privately-printed book of notes, a number of Grant's drawings were used for illustrations to Henry Yule’s ‘A Narrative of the mission sent by the Governor General of India to the Court of Ava in 1855’ published in 1858. Grant was also presented with a gold cup and ruby ring by the Burmese King in recognition of his skill.

Grant described this view as follows: 'An Island or sand chur on the low western bank, where the Steamer was detained for several hours undergoing repairs. The visit of the Mission, however, appeared to have been anticipated, as the Pooà house, or Theatre, was here, as every where else, prepared; a large assemblage of people gathered together, and the performers, Prince and Princess - Buffoon - Wood-demons - Sprites - Singing damsels, and Musicians, all ready to do their customary spiriting.'

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