An impressive Chinese Imperial festive summer robe, belonging to an Empress, from the collection of a Glasgow shipping magnate, is to be offered in Lyon & Turnbull
s Fine Asian Works of Art sale in June. Valued at between £15,000 and 25,000, it comes from the collection of Leonard Gow, the noted Glaswegian shipping magnate whose collection of Chinese porcelain was one of the most important in Britain in the first part of the 20th century.
The robe is worked in gold and silver embroidery on a gold gauze ground, with standing waves at the hem and nine five-clawed dragons on the front, back and shoulder panels. Placed throughout the field of the robe are the twelve symbols indicating it was intended only for the emperors use. The robe is richly detailed and in near immaculate condition and provides a rare glimpse of the exquisite workmanship of Qing dynasty imperial textiles.
Experts at Lyon & Turnbull were stunned with the quality of the 200 year old Chinese Imperial Robe, especially as it comes hot on the heels of them selling an Imperial Kesi Ground Formal Robe for £15,000 in their sale of Fine Asian Works of Art on the 11th December 2013.
Lee Young Asian Specialist at Lyon & Turnbull and presenter on TVs Antiques Roadshow said Scotland has a history of travel to the Far East including Scottish seafarers, soldiers, colonial administrators and merchant bankers. Many large international corporations with headquarters in the Far East were set up by entrepreneurial Scots. Banks like Jardine, Matheson & Co founded in Canton in 1832 by Scots William Jardine and James Matheson created extensive and early Asian connections for the Jardines of Dumfriesshire and other Scottish dynasties. The boom in the Chinese market has been driven by its surging economy and the new wealthy, urged by the Beijing government to do their "patriotic duty" and bring Chinese artefacts home.
Lee Young is hoping to uncover more Chinese treasures during special valuation days for on 24th February 2014 at 33 Broughton Place, Edinburgh and on the 25th February 2014 at 182, Bath Street, Glasgow.