In his illustrated talk Colin Sheaf, a renowned Chinese art specialist, will explore the remarkable range of art and crafts objects generated during China’s 6000-year cultural history which have inspired new generations of collectors around the world.
He shared with his long-standing friend Brian McElney, our distinguished Founder, a fascination with the amazing range of artefacts commissioned for all manner of collectors and owners; ceramics for the Imperial Court, for funerary usage and for export to the West; jade carvings, lacquer, organic materials, bronzes, cloisonne enamel, furniture, glass, textiles. Colin’s talk will introduce this huge variety to interested non-specialists and remind more experienced listeners of some of the finest items which have come to auction in recent years.
Colin Sheaf was until recently Deputy Chairman of Bonham’s Auctioneers, and is now Emeritus Head in the Asian Art Department. He is recognized internationally as an authority on the decorative arts of Imperial China.
After reading Modern History as an Exhibitioner at Worcester College, Oxford, he began a 26-year career at London art auctioneers Christies in 1974, where he came to specialise in Chinese ceramics and works of art. In 2000 he joined London auctioneers Phillips, which shortly afterwards merged with Bonhams. He will always be remembered as the only Western auctioneer who opened auction businesses in Asia for two global art auction houses: for Christies in 1984, and for Bonham’s in 2007.
During his long artworld career as a Chinese art specialist, Colin has lectured around the world, and published over 150 magazine articles and book contributions, mostly about Chinese art and the international art market.