In this lecture Colin Sheaf, Chairman of Bonhams Asia, and one of the two Protection Trustees of the Percival David Foundation, will explore the exceptional Imperial Chinese ceramics collected between 1920–1950 by Sir Percival David, a successful English banker and lawyer. The lecture will focus on the unique Song monochromes and superb painted Ming and Qing porcelains, which make this collection, currently on long term loan to the British Museum, the finest of its kind in private hands.
Colin Sheaf heads Bonhams International Asian Art Department, coordinating auctions of Chinese and Japanese art in London, Hong Kong, New York, San Francisco, Edinburgh and Sydney. He is Chairman of both Bonhams UK, which will open in London this month, the first international auction centre to be purpose built in Europe this century; and of Bonhams Asia since its opening in 2007.
He studied History at Oxford University, and joined Christie’s as a trainee porcelain specialist in 1974. During his career there, he developed Chinese art sales in the New York auction house; pioneered shipwreck sales in Amsterdam, including the unprecedented ‘Nanking Cargo’ sale; and opened the Hong Kong office in 1984, before inaugurating sales in 1986. In 2000, he was recruited by Louis Vuitton to be the Head of Asian Art at their newly acquired London auction house, and was appointed Deputy Chairman of the global company now called Bonhams in 2005. In 2007 he opened Bonhams Asia as a fully functioning auction business based in Hong Kong, and supported by satellite offices in Beijing, Taipei, Tokyo and Singapore. He is the only Westerner in history to have opened two international art auction businesses in Hong Kong!