As our Asian Art sale approaches, we take a glimpse at the collection of William Orr Leitch and Katherine Leitch. The fascinating collection was assembled in Northern China across the late 19th and early 20th centuries and features an array of Asian textiles, consisting of silk panels and intricately crafted garments
A collection of Chinese textiles with an exceptional provenance will feature in this years Asian Art sale on 28th May. The nine lots, including embroidered silk garments and panels, have been consigned by descendants of a Victorian engineer who left Scotland in 1897 to work on the Chinese government railway.
A pair of Chinese gouache paintings, early 20th century, ink and colour on silk
William Orr Leitch (1871-1948) became the Engineer in Chief of the project and later General Manager of the Peking to Mukden Railway Line. In 1906 he married Katherine Macintyre (1879-1952), the daughter of prominent Presbyterian missionaries in Newchwang (Niuzhuang), close to the trade port of Yingkou. Their three children were born in Northern China and they became an important part of the expatriate society and missionary community.
The Leitch family remained in China throughout the Boxer Rebellion, periods of Japanese rule and the civil war. Over the years, as part of an afluent society, the family decorated their houses in Tientsin (Tianjin) and Shanhaiguan with Chinese works of art. However, they later returned to Edinburgh taking up residence in Gordon Square where they furnished a home with many treasures. Some fifty trunks full of Chinese artefacts had been shipped home - some for the family collection, others sold to raise funds for orphanages in China.
A Chinese embroidered column wrap, Quing Dynasty (1644-1911)
Among the pieces retained by the Leitch family is a Qing dynasty (1644-1911) embroidered kesi red and black robe, a luxury garment decorated with the auspicious motifs of butterflies and double gourds. To the hem is a splendid border of rocks and precious objects amongst waves while borders of key fret are picked out in gold thread, carrying an estimate of £1,500 - £2,500.
A Chinese embroidered kesi red robe
If you would like more information regarding the sale, please contact
email@example.com | 01279 817778
We are currently consigning for our autumn auction of Design to be held on Monday 24 & Tuesday 25 October with entries closing Friday 9 September.
23 June 2022
Created for government officials in the city of Chandigarh, India, the 'V' Type Armchair was expertly crafted from humidity and bug resistant wood, ensuring they could withstand the test of time.
22 June 2022
A rare Tudor manuscript designed to help with swan-keeping in the era when mute swans were owned by the English crown comes to auction in the summer. The two-volume manuscript included in our August 23 sale of Books and Maps was used from the 16th to the19th century by landowners in Norfolk and Suffolk.
21 June 2022