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1864-02-03 Race Meeting Happy Valley Racecourse Watercolor

Watercolor by Marciano Antonio Baptista (1826 -1896) a Macao-Portuguese artist and student of the famous British painter George Chinnery, this artwork delineates the landscape of Happy Valley in the 1860s. Watercolour was the main genre of Mr Baptista and the great majority went to the depiction of Chinese coast, with great details to architecture and ships, thus with considerable historical value. The work featured here shows a packed racecourse, a group of simply built structures and mat-shed stands along the Straight. The foreground have racegoers, horse carts and sedan chairs with their drivers and passengers congregated at the Old Sports Road at Wong Nai Chung and a few shelters as food stalls and game booths in the infield. At the time, race meetings were more carnival like. Judging from various buildings and the three storey grandstand along the straight, the date should be probably on 1864-02-03 (without St. Paul Schools, formerly “Le Calvaire”completed on 1908-01-06.)

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