The painting is inscribed Li Po-wen, which the auction house notes was a Chinese punning nickname given to Henry Lieberman who worked as an editor on the New York Times.
In 1948 Lieberman wrote an article describing how he visited Qi Baishi’s home and personally commissioned the shrimp painting which he watched him create. Lieberman paid $5 for it.
The scroll form painting, signed 88 years old Bai Shi, measures 19¾in x 4ft 1¾in (50cm x 1.26m) overall and has an estimate of $10,000- 15,000.
The other painting, Grapes and Squirrel, has the same estimate.