CARP: Chinese Art - Research into Provenance

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Brown, N.S.

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 Brown, N.S.

Image © Department of History of Art, University of Glasgow
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Neilage Sharp Brown purchased his Neolithic pottery from local dealers and collectors in Lanzhou in 1934 in the company of George Findlay Andrew, a local missionary, who first alerted J. G. Andersson to the presence of the Yangshao Neolithic site back in 1922. The collection was on view in his home in Shanghai and then returned with him to England in 1935.

Born in Renfrewshire near Glasgow in 1879 and educated at Glasgow High School, Neilage Sharp Brown worked as a shipping clerk for Gow, Harrison & Co. and then George Smith & Sons, in Glasgow before entering the employ of Butterfield and Swire in 1902. He worked for Butterfield & Swire in Hong Kong, Hankou and Shanghai and through a series of promotions he eventually became Swire’s Manager at Shanghai from 1929 until his retirement and return to Britain (Old Pickhurst, Chiddingfold in Surrey) in 1935. He is recorded as a Director in 1929-30 ( Hongkong) & Shanghai (1931-37). He died in 1944.

Manuscript sources
File Of Shanghai and Old Pickhurst, Chiddingfold (Burrell Collection).

Published sources
J Gunnar Andersson, 'Children of the Yellow Earth, Studies in Prehistoric China', London 1934, reprinted Cambridge Mass., 1973, p.253; 'The Directory and Chronicle of China, Japan, etc.' (1929-39); Arthur de Carle Sowerby, ‘The Neolithic Pottery of Kansu – Burial urns and other vessels in the N.S Brown Collection’, The China Journal, Vol. XXII, No. 6, June 1935, pp.300-03.

Sotheby & Co., London, Friday 13 March 1942 (Under instructions from the Receiver, with the sanction of the Master in Lunacy) A collection of Chinese art; antique and decorative furniture;
Sotheby’s, 25 March 1942, Drawings and oil paintings of British and foreign schools;
Sotheby’s, 26 March 1942, Jewels, eighteenth century decorated watches;
Sotheby’s, 7 December 1944 , Chinese Art, (late N.S. Brown);
Sotheby’s, 29-30 January 1948, Chinese ceramics and works of art.

N.S. Brown

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