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The ewer was a gift from the Dowager Empress Cixi (1835-1908) to Hon Edwin H Conger (1843-1907) and Mrs Sarah (Pike) Conger, American Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to China, and has passed down by descent.

It is illustrated in Sarah Pink Conger’s Letters from China: With Particular Reference to the Empress Dowager and the Women of China (Chicago, AC McClurg & Co 1910), where it is pictured in the upper right-hand quadrant of a view of the legation drawing room.

The estimate is $50,000-80,000 in Geneseo, New York, on September 23.