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421 Auspicious Vases

China, Qing Dynasty, possibly 19th century
Height: 45 cm

Provenance: - James A. Garland Collection, USA, (inv. nr.1024)
- With Joseph Duveen, New York
- J.P. Morgan Collection, USA, 1902 – 1914 (inv.nr. 862)
- Private Collection, Europe, 2013

Exhibitions: Metropolitan Museum, New York 1895-1913
Wadsworth Atheneum, Morgan the Mind of a Collector, 2017


James A. Garland (died 1902)
James A. Garland was a prominent New Yorker, the Vice-President of the First National Bank of New York and an organiser and builder of the Northern Pacific Railroad. He was a client of Duveen Brothers and a serious collector of tapestries, oriental jades and especially Chinese porcelain. The James A. Garland collection consisted of over a thousand Kangxi (1662-1722) period blue and white and enamelled porcelains. The collection was on loan to the Metropolitan Museum until his death in 1902, when it was sold to the Duveen brothers for $500,000.

John Pierpont Morgan, Sr. (1837 – 1913)
Head of the billion-dollar U.S. Steel Corporation, international financier and banker, J.P. Morgan's main interest in the latter part of his life was art collecting. He preferred Renaissance objects and did not particularly like modern art.
Morgan made a habit of buying whole collections at once, sometimes procuring them for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, of which he became President in 1904. It is in this light that J. P. Morgan negotiated with the Duveen brothers to repurchase the Garland collection for $600,000 and commissioned them to fill any gaps so as to make it even more complete. Overnight, the Garland Collection became the Morgan Collection, securing the continuation of the long-term loan to the Metropolitan Museum.
His son, J.P. Morgan Jr. (Jack), eventually sold the collection again to the Duveen brothers in 1915 for $3 million, in part to meet his father’s cash bequests and New York state inheritance tax. Most of the collection was sold to J.D. Rockefeller, Henry Clay Frick and P.A.B. Widener.


Literature:
Garland Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1895

 

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