Thank you for visiting my new website and reading my first blog! Many people may
have met me over the past decade while I was the head Asian Art specialist at two of
Toronto’s largest regional auctions houses. It was a lot of fun putting Asian Art sales
together and learning about the auction trade. I met many interesting people – many
who have now become good friends and mentors. Seeing the top Asian works of art
in Canada was a real honour, as well as seeing spectacular Canadian Art, decorative
art and jewelry.
Recently I have decided to work on my own. My company will still work closely with
the Asian Art market in Canada and the USA. I will also be focusing more on
appraisals, collection management and art advising for private clients and auction
Hopefully I will be updating my website with occasional bogs. These blogs will be
fairly open with respect to topics. I will be discussing my trips to various Asian Art
fairs and auctions in the USA, Europe and East Asia. I will talk about current or past
trends in the Asian art market. I can even focus on my museum visits and give
reviews about new exhibitions or certain items that I am particularly fond of. Any
question or suggestions that you may have for future blogs can be sent to me
through this website.
For my next blog I will be focusing on the New York Asia Week 2016. I will be
visiting from the 10th to 15th of March and staying in the mid-town area. If you will be
there, you can probably find me bouncing around various auction exhibitions,
gallery openings and Asian art museums. I will also be lecturing on the history of
collecting Asian Art in Canada. The talk will take place at 2pm on March 12th at the
Asian Art Fair, held at the Bohemian National Hall. I will have more information as
the date gets closer.
In the meantime I wanted to quickly present one of the items I will be discussing
during my NYC lecture. It is a Famille Rose ‘Hundred Deer’ Hu Vase with Qianlong
Mark and of Period (1736-1795) from the Royal Ontario Museum (museum
#911.9.17). Visitors to the ROM can find this magnificent vase in its own display
case in the Chinese porcelain section of the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of
These vases are exceptionally rare and popular with institutions and collectors. The
shape, known as a hu, is based on archaic bronze forms from the Shang and Zhou
Dynasty. It depicts a pleasant scene of the ‘hundred deer’ theme. Each deer is
individualised and can be seen galloping, napping and grazing on a field. The
background is full of auspicious Chinese symbols such as pine trees (endurance),
peaches (longevity) and lingzhi fungus (longevity). The Chinese word for deer, lu, is
also a homonym for ‘status’, and this vase would provide good fortune for its owner.
This vase was donated to the ROM by H. D. Warren (1862-1952) in 1911. She was a
successful Toronto businesswoman and philanthropist, and financed many
important purchases to the ROM after it opened in 1907. Many items were acquired
in London from the legendary S. M. Franck & Co.
Another of Mrs. Warren’s donation to the ROM is the famous Sancai Figure of a
Luohan from the Liao Dynasty (11th Century) (museum # 914.4.1). This figure comes
from an original set of sixteen or eighteen, of which only eight are still known to
exist. Other remaining examples can be found at the British Museum, the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.