One of 40 illustrations by Chinese artists commissioned by James Ware (1859-1913), a merchant navy captain that are estimated at £5000-7000 at Lyon & Turnbull.

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Joining the service of the British and Foreign Bible Society, he converted a rented building into a chapel, learned to preach in the local dialect and contributed to translations of both the Old and New Testaments and the Ming dynasty epic The Journey to the West.

As part of the project, Ware commissioned itinerant Chinese artists to illustrate episodes of this famous tale of the monkey king that he used to draw comparisons between the Christian and the Chinese conceptions of life after death in front of his congregation.

On behalf of a descendant, Lyon & Turnbull will offer this set of 40 illustrations at the Fine Asian Art auction in London on May 15.

Estimate £5000-7000.

Meiji kettle

A private collection from the Scottish Borders offered by Lyon & Turnbull in London on May 15 includes this Meiji inlaid iron tea kettle and cover, made by Seigyokudo (the Hall of Clear Jade).


A Meiji inlaid iron tea kettle – estimated at £3000-5000 at Lyon & Turnbull.

The kettle, called a tetsubin in Japanese, is finished in a rough stone-like texture and inlaid in gold with Kyoto landmarks including the Byodo-in Temple and the Sanjo Ohashi bridge spanning the Kamo River.

Estimate £3000-5000.