obitgolding

Francis Nelson Golding, architectural, planning and conservation consultant: born Macclesfield 28 January 1944; Honorary Fellow, RIBA 2000; civil partner 2006 Dr Satish Padiyar; died London 7 November 2013.

Francis Golding assembled this collection over the last forty years buying from reputable London dealers such as Bluett & Sons, John Sparks, and Spink & Son, and international auction houses including Sotheby's, Bonham's, and Christie’s. It comprises works that span over two thousand years of Chinese art and includes exquisite Song dynasty ceramics, Ming and Qing dynasty porcelain, archaic, Ming and Qing dynasty jade carvings, beautifully-worked kesi textiles, and works of art including cloisonné enamel and lacquer ware. 

Francis developed a deep affinity with Chinese art after being introduced to the beauty of Tang and Song dynasty ceramics in Singapore in the 1970s by the Chinese curator and scholar William Willetts, author of the influential two-volume Chinese Art, 1958. To Francis, the joy of collecting Chinese art went beyond the thrill of acquisition and appreciation of beauty. In his words: “These objects represent to me freedom and life, not deadening possessions”. They were placed artfully in his London Georgian townhouse, where he lived with his partner, art historian Dr Satish Padiyar.  

He was widely considered to be one of the country’s leading architectural, planning and conservation consultants. As such, he greatly influenced the contemporary architectural landscape of London.  

His clients included world renowned architect Richard Rogers, with whom he advised on The Leadenhall Building in the City of London known as “The Cheese Grater”; and Rafael Viñoly, whose distinctive building nicknamed “The Walkie-Talkie” towers above London’s surrounding historic financial district at 20 Fenchurch Street. The soaring public sky terrace there, “The Francis Golding Terrace”, was named after him as a mark of respect for a man whose passion for London’s architecture and urban landscape improved the quality of the many developments on which he advised. 

Francis Golding also advised the celebrated architect Norman Foster, with whom he worked on London’s iconic building the “Gherkin”. He once famously suggested Norman Foster reconsider one of his designs with the pithy critique, “Norman, you wouldn’t want to put one of your worst next to one of Wren’s best would you?”

 

A large phosphatic-glazed stoneware jar, Tang dynasty (618-907 ad)

Lot 317. A large phosphatic-glazed stoneware jar, Tang dynasty (618-907 AD). 15 ¾ in. (40 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 20,000 - GBP 30,000 (USD 26,220 - USD 39,330)Price realised GBP 35,000© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The jar has four lug handles and is covered in a lustrous dark brown glaze decorated with milky blue phosphatic splashes, the glaze falling short of the base in an uneven line to reveal the buff-coloured body.

ProvenancePrivate French Collection, amassed prior to 1980.
Christie's Paris, 22 November 2006, lot 240.
Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

A dark brown-glazed vase, yuhuchunping, Jin-Yuan dynasty(1115-1368)

 Lot 318. A dark brown-glazed vase, yuhuchunping, Jin-Yuan dynasty(1115-1368). 11 in. (28 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 3,000 - GBP 5,000 (USD 3,975 - USD 6,625). Price realised GBP 3,750. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

This vase is of an elegant pear shape with a slender neck rising to an everted mouth rim and supported on a short spreading foot. The exterior is covered in a rich, dark brown glaze with two large stylised flowers.

ProvenanceWith Bluett and Sons Ltd., London.
Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

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Lot 319. A Jun-type bowl. 6 7/8. in. (17.8 cm.) diam. Estimate GBP 1,500 - GBP 3,000 (USD 1,988 - USD 3,975). Unsold. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The bowl is decorated to both the interior and exterior with pale blue and lavender tone glaze, suffused with a dense network of crackles, fading to brownish-beige at the small foot ring. 

ProvenanceCollection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

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Lot 320. A Longquan celadon-glazed shallow bowl, an incised celadon-glazed 'lotus' bowl, and a carved celadon-glazed box and cover, the Longquan bowl Song dynasty (960-1279), the incised 'lotus' bowl Ming dynasty (1368-1644), the box and cover Qing dynasty (1644-1912). The largest 9 ½ in. (24 cm.) diam. Estimate GBP 4,000 - GBP 6,000 (USD 5,300 - USD 7,950)Price realised GBP 13,750. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017 

The group comprises: a Longquan celadon-glazed bowl of shallow form with a band of moulded lappets to the exterior, the glaze a bluish-green tone; a bowl incised to the exterior with three large lotus heads on leafy stems; and a circular box and cover carved with a lotus bloom on leafy scrolling foliage.

ProvenanceThe incised 'lotus' bowl: With Bluett & Sons, London.
Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

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Lot 321. A bronze two-handled censer, 17th century. 7 7/8. in. (20 cm.) wide. Estimate GBP 600 - GBP 1,000 (USD 795 - USD 1,325)Price realised GBP 3,750. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The bulbous body of this censer is cast to the shoulders with two lion-head handles. The base is with an apocryphal sixteen-character Xuande workshop mark. 

ProvenanceCollection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

A rare small Ding moulded 'phoenix' dish, Jin dynasty (1115-1234)

Lot 322. A rare small Ding moulded 'Phoenix' dish, Jin dynasty (1115-1234). 5 ¾ in. (14.7 cm.) diam. Estimate GBP 8,000 - GBP 12,000 (USD 10,600 - USD 15,900)Price realised GBP 25,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The dish is decorated with a ribbed design of chrysanthemum petals encircling a central medallion finely moulded with a pair of phoenix in flight amongst large lotus flowers and lotus leaves. The rim is applied with a metal band. 

ProvenanceThe Alfred Clark Collection (1873-1950), no.576.
Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

 

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Lot 323. Three Ming lacquer stem cups, Ming dynasty, 15th-16th century. The tallest 3 3/8 in. (8.7 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 3,000 - GBP 5,000 (USD 3,975 - USD 6,625)Price realised GBP 10,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The group comprises: two cinnabar lacquer stem cups carved with two birds amongst lychee hanging on leafy stems, all on a diaper pattern ground and below a band of key fret to the rim, the stems decorated withlingzhi sprigs, the interiors and bases are lined with metal; and a tixilacquer stem cup deeply carved to the exterior through alternating layers of black and red lacquer with a repeating design of ruyi-head scrolls, the interior and base lined with metal.

Provenance: Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).
The two cinnabar lacquer cups:
With Bluett & Sons, London.
With Linart Ltd, London, 17 July 1995, no. 205.
The tixi lacquer stem cup: With Michael J.A.Wilcox, London, 19 March 2003.

 

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Lot 324. A bronze chariot fitting, Han dynasty (206 BC -220 AD). 6 1/8 in. (15.5 cm.) long. Estimate GBP 3,000 - GBP 5,000 (USD 3,975 - USD 6,625)Price realised GBP 3,750. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The chariot fitting is of tubular form and closed at one end with circular apertures to each side. There is a rectangular aperture on the shaft through which slides a detachable fitting terminating in a tiger head, the beast's striped markings, barred teeth and facial features are finely detailed. The narrow tapered end of the shaft is cast with a band of lappets. The bronze has malachite green encrustations.

 

ProvenanceAcquired in the UK prior to 2000.
Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

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Lot 325. A pair of cloisonné candlesticks, Qianlong period (1736-1795). 11 in. (28 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 6,000 - GBP 10,000 (USD 7,950 - USD 13,250)Price realised GBP 7,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

Each candlestick is densely decorated to the bell-form base, drip plate and stem with elaborate flower scrolls interspersed with ruyi head borders, all reserved on a turquoise ground. The gilt bronze edge of the drip pan is decorated with chased squared scrolls and the waist is decorated with a lappet band. 

ProvenanceWith John Sparks Ltd., London, 29 January 1990. 
Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

A blue and white 'Nine peaches' dish, Qianlong six-character seal mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1736-1795)

Lot 326. A blue and white 'Nine peaches' dish, Qianlong six-character seal mark in underglaze blue and of the period (1736-1795). 0 5/8 in. (27 cm.) diam. Estimate GBP 8,000 - GBP 12,000 (USD 10,600 - USD 15,900)Price realised GBP 21,250. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The dish is painted to the centre with nine peaches borne on a gnarled, leafy branch. The exterior is painted with a continuous leafy meander of morning glory within double line borders.  

Provenance: Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013). 

NoteDishes of this size and pattern, also with Qianlong seal marks, are more usually seen with a yellow enamelled ground, such as the example in the Percival David Foundation illustrated in Oriental Ceramics, The World's Great Collections, vol. 6, Tokyo, 1982, no. 247. See, also, the dish sold in these rooms, 11 May 2015, lot 16.  

A similar blue and white dish, without the yellow enamel, is illustrated by J. Ayers, Chinese Ceramics: The Koger Collection, London, 1985, no. 96. An almost identical Ming-style blue and white ‘peach’ dish offered at Christie’s New York, 26 March 2010, lot. 1373.

A blue and white 'Dragon' dish, 18th century

Lot 327. A blue and white 'Dragon' dish, 18th century. 8 1/8 in. (20.5 cm.) diam. Estimate GBP 1,500 - GBP 2,000 (USD 1,988 - USD 2,650). Unsold. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The interior is decorated in the centre with a five-clawed dragon chasing a flaming pearl amidst clouds and flames. The exterior is decorated with three similar dragons in pursuit. The base is inscribed with an apocryphal six-character Zhengde mark.

Provenance: Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

A rare large blue and white 'Dragon' basin, Ming dynasty, 16th century

Lot 328. A rare large blue and white 'Dragon' basin, Ming dynasty, 16th century. 18 in. (45.8 cm.) diam. Estimate GBP 6,000 - GBP 10,000 (USD 7,950 - USD 13,250). Price realised GBP 16,250. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The basin is of a shallow compressed form with a lipped rim and supported by a short foot. It is decorated around the exterior with two large writhing dragons chasing a flaming pearl amongst clouds, all between cloud scrolls to the mouth rim and a classic scroll above the foot.

ProvenanceChristie's London, 15 June 1998, lot 96. 
With Linart Ltd., London, 20 June 1998. 
From the Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

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Lot 329. Two celadon jade bi-discs, Ming dynasty (1368-1644). The larger 5 ¾ in. (14.5 cm.) diamEstimate GBP 3,000 - GBP 5,000 (USD 3,975 - USD 6,625). Price realised GBP 9,375. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The group comprises two bi-discs of plain form, one is of a pale celadon tone with creamy flecks and russet inclusions, the other is of a darker celadon tone with creamy flecks, russet inclusions and areas of calcification.

Provenance: Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

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Lot 330. A celadon jade disc ans a yellow jade scoop, Ming dynasty (1368-1644) or possibly earlier. The largest, 4 1/8 in. (10.4 cm.) longEstimate GBP 2,000 - GBP 3,000 (USD 2,650 - USD 3,975). Unsold. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The disc is of rounded square form with a central circular aperture and two smaller holes to one side. The stone is of a pale celadon tone with two areas of lighter and brown inclusions. The scoop is of elongated rectangular shape with rounded ends. The stone is of an attractive light yellow tone with some paler inclusions.

Provenance: The scoop: Michael J. A. Wilcox, London, 4 March 2004.
Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

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Lot 331. Two pale celadon jade 'Chilong' and 'Dragon' pendants, the 'Chilong' pendant, 17th-18th century, the 'Dragon' pendant, 18th century. The largest 2 ½ in (6.3 cm.) long. Estimate GBP 4,000 - GBP 6,000 (USD 5,300 - USD 7,950)Unsold. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017 

The shield-form pendant is carved and pierced with archaistic scrolls and surmounted by a clambering chilong, the stone of a pale even tone with some pale russet inclusions; and the axe-form pendant is carved in shallow relief to each side with a stylised dragon and a phoenix, the stone of a pale even tone with a russet inclusions. 

ProvenanceThe 'dragon' pendant: with Michael J. A. Wilcox, London, 29 October 2004.
Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

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Lot 332. A pale celadon and russet jade 'Aubergine' pendant, and a mottled grey jade 'Cicada' pendant, the aubergine pendant 17th-18th century, the cicada 17th century. The larger 2 5/8 in. (6.7 cm.) long. Estimate GBP 3,000 - GBP 5,000 (USD 3,975 - USD 6,625). Unsold. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The aubergine-form pendant is incised to one side with a scroll motif, the stone of a pale celadon tone with areas of russet skin and russet striations; and the mottled pale and dark grey cicada-form pendant, carved and pierced with two small apertures, the stone with creamy white, dark grey and russet inclusions.

Provenance: Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

 

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Lot 333. Two pale celadon and russet jade mythical beasts, Ming dynasty, 16th-17th century and 18th century. The larger, 2 5/8 (6.8 cm.) long. Estimate GBP 4,000 - GBP 6,000 (USD 5,300 - USD 7,950)Price realised GBP 6,250© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The first is a recumbent beast carved with its head turned to one side and bifurcated tail flicked over its haunches. Its legs are tucked beneath its body and with its prominent backbone and facial features finely detailed. The stone is of a creamy celadon tone with russet inclusions. The second beast has a long neck and is carved with its head turned to one side. The well pronounced spine leads to a bushy tail which is swept beside one of the large paws. The stone is of an even pale tone. 

 

ProvenanceThe first, with John Sparks Ltd, London, 8 January 1990.
Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

 

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Lot 334. A celadon and russet jade model of a hound, 17th century. 4 3/8 in. (11.2 cm.) longEstimate GBP 2,000 - GBP 3,000 (USD 2,650 - USD 3,975)Price realised GBP 5,250. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The recumbent dog is carved with all four paws facing forwards, its tail swept over its hind legs to the right side, and a rope around the neck. The stone is of a pale tone with the russet skin highlighting the ribs to one side. 

ProvenanceWith Linart Ltd., London, 20 June 1998.
Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

13

 

Lot 335. A finely carved celadon and russet jade 'Chilong' washer and a pale celadon and russet jade archaistic two-handled cup, 17th-18th century. The larger, 4 5/8 in. (11.8 cm.) wide. Estimate GBP 7,000 - GBP 9,000 (USD 9,275 - USD 11,925)Price realised GBP 12,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017 

 The quatrefoil washer is intricately carved with two chilong dragons on the sides, supported on four short feet. The stone is of a pale celadon tone with russet streaks. The cup is of shallow form, carved to the exterior with a band of raised nodes, interrupted by two mythical beast-head handles to the sides. The stone is of a slightly mottled pale celadon tone, with some minor streaked russet inclusions.

ProvenanceThe cup: Barnet Cemmell Collection. 
Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

 

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Lot 336. A pale celadon and russet jade pouring vessel, yi, and a celadon and russet jade quatrefoil-form tray, 17th-19th century. The larger, 9¼ in. (23.6 cm.) wide. Estimate GBP 3,000 - GBP 5,000 (USD 3,975 - USD 6,625). Price realised GBP 3,750. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The vessel is delicately incised to the exterior with a band of stylised scroll motifs and the handle is decorated with an archaistic taotie. The stone is of a pale celadon tone with subtle russet streaked inclusions throughout. The tray is of plain form with an everted quatrefoil rim and is pierced with three small holes to the centre. The stone is of a lightly mottled celadon tone with areas of enhanced russet skin.

ProvenanceCollection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

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Lot 337. Three jade archer's rings and a collection of six jade and jadeite carvings,Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and later. Estimate GBP 2,000 - GBP 4,000 (USD 2,650 - USD 5,300). Price realised GBP 3,000 © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The group comprises: three jade archer's rings, one of plain form carved with an arched slightly concave central section, one carved with an archaistic dragon scroll and a third carved with a band of shou character roundels on an archaistic ground; a mottled creamy celadon jade rabbit, the stone with areas of calcification; a white and russet jade pebble of irregular form; a mottled grey jade carved cylindrical bead; a celadon jade recumbent scholar; a spinach-green jade heart-form pendant; and a jadeite bird pendant.

ProvenanceOne ring with Linart Ltd., 17 March 1995. Another ring with Linart Ltd., 19 October 1994.

Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

 

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Lot 338. An archaic mottled black and brown jade pommel, Warring States (475-221 BC). 1 5/8 in (4.2 cm) diam. Estimate GBP 1,500 - GBP 2,500 (USD 1,988 - USD 3,312). Unsold© Christie's Images Ltd 2017

 

The pommel has a raised central section carved with an archaistic scroll and the underside has two small apertures. The stone is of a mottled black, pale grey and brown tone with red flecked inclusions and veins.

ProvenanceWith Linart Ltd., London, 16 December 1997.
Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013)

A carved Cizhou vase, meiping, Song dynasty (960-1279)

Lot 339. A carved Cizhou vase, meiping, Song dynasty (960-1279). 13 in. (33 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 5,000 - GBP 8,000 (USD 6,625 - USD 10,600). Unsold. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

 

The vase is carved through the dark brown glaze to the pale buff body with a broad band enclosing a leafy foliate scroll below a narrower band of stylised petals and a band of overlapping petals to the base.

ProvenanceCollection of Francis Golding (1944-2013)

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Lot 340. A jade cong, sword pommel and mythical beast carving, Ming dynasty (1368-1644). The tallest 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm.) high. Estimate GBP 3,000 - GBP 5,000 (USD 3,975 - USD 6,625). Price realised GBP 3,750 © Christie's Images Ltd 2017 

The group comprises: a miniature pale celadon and russet jade congcarved with archaistic scrolls; a mottled pale and dark grey celadon jade sword pommel, carved with two concave bands encircling two small apertures; and a black jade single-horned mythical beast.

Provenance: The cong: With Michael Oriental Art Ltd., 21 April 2001.
The Pratt Collection of Seattle, Washington, USA.
The sword pommel: With Linart Ltd., London, 16 December 1997.
Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

1

Lot 341. A blue-ground kesi 'Dragon' circular panel section, 17th century. 16 in. (40.5 cm.) diam., mounted, framed, and glazedEstimate GBP 1,500 - GBP 3,000 (USD 1,988 - USD 3,975)Price realised GBP 4,375 © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The panel is woven with a gilt four-clawed dragon weaving in and out of tumultuous waves chasing the flaming pearl, all amongst precious objects. 

ProvenanceCollection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

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Lot 342. A shaped kesi dragon fragment, 19th century. 12 in. (30.5 cm.) wide, mounted. Estimate GBP 1,000 - GBP 1,500 (USD 1,325 - USD 1,988)Unsold. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The dark blue kesi ground is woven in gold threads and shades of blue, green and ochre with a five-clawed dragon leaping amongst fire scrolls in pursuit of the flaming pearl above waves and mountains on a ground scattered with auspicious objects.

Provenance: Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

 

3

 Lot 343. A large apricot-ground kesi 'dragon' panel, 17th century. Estimate GBP 10,000 - GBP 15,000 (USD 13,250 - USD 19,875)Price realised GBP 12,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The panel is boldly woven in peacock feather filaments, gilt and colourful threads with a front-facing four-clawed dragon coiled around a flaming pearl, amongst ruyi-shaped cloud scrolls above rocks and tumultuous waves and precious objects. The panel, 27 ¾ in. high x 38 in. wide (70.5 x 96.5 cm.), mounted in a perspex frame.

Provenance: Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

NoteA similar 'dragon' panel with a gilt ground was sold at Christie's South Kensington, 11 November 2015, lot 610, and a further kesi dragon panel as a table frontal from the Collection of Jean-Pierre Dubosc (1903-1988), was sold at Christie's Paris, 9 June 2015, lot 18. 

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Lot 344. A kesi 'dragon' panel, 17th century. Estimate GBP 4,000 - GBP 6,000 (USD 5,300 - USD 7,950)Price realised GBP 11,875. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The panel is woven with a fierce gilt five-clawed dragon clasping the flaming pearl amongst scrolling clouds above precious objects in tumultuous waves. The details of the panel are finely delineated by the use of contrasting coloured sections. 15 1/8 in. long x 7 ¾ in. wide (38.5 x 19.7 cm.), mounted in a perspex frame.

Provenance: Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

5

Lot 345. A yellow-ground embroidered cushion cover section, late 18th century. Estimate GBP 4,000 - GBP 6,000 (USD 5,300 - USD 7,950)Price realised GBP 5,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

The shaped cushion cover is embroidered with a central flower surrounded by ruyi-heads and densely scrolling lotus and the Eight Buddhist Emblems, bajixiang. The gilt couched border is surrounded by scattered bats holding chimes, beribboned ruyi-sceptres, and further scrolling lotus. The section 28 3/8 in. long x 30.¼ in. wide (72 cm. x 77 cm.), mounted in a perspex frame.

Provenance: Collection of Francis Golding (1944-2013).

Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art, 7 November 2017, London