Author Archives: Helen Eagles

Consider This: Collecting Chinese Textiles

Subject and Symbolism

The symbols depicted on a textile can tell you quite specifically what the function was and who would have owned it. Chimes, twin fish, and double happiness characters are symbols for blessings in marriage, designating a marriage robe. At the same time, Imperial dragons were strictly only used on Imperial textiles until the later parts of the Qing dynasty. 

Manchu Wedding Robe, China, 19th century. Sold for $9,225 in September 2019.

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Professor Marion James: An Intrepid Collector and Educator

Professor Douglas Wheeler of the Department of History at the University of New Hampshire described his colleague Professor Marion James as “a true adventurer in the classic sense” when paying tribute to her at a memorial service last year. Born April 3, 1918 in Durham, New Hampshire, Marion James rose to the position of Chair of the Department of History, and was noted as an advocate of broadening the classes offered at the University to include world history.… Read More

The William C. Rives Collection: Remarkable Connections in Southeast Asian Paintings

In March of 1999, William C. Rives purchased what he thought was a beautiful and outstanding painting at an auction in Singapore. The painting was by Alix Aymé, and was of a tranquil river landscape in Luang Prabang, Laos (Lot 42 in the September 19th Asian Works of Art auction). Rendered with sensitive brush strokes and an exquisite color palette, the painting depicts a woman dressed in pink, standing on a bridge overlooking the Nam Khan river, where boats skim across the surface of the water which in turn reflects the mountains and sky above.… Read More