A research chemist and lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and resident of the New Town, he made his first purchase from London’s Bluett and Sons in 1964.
He was a client there for more than 25 years before its closure (working on a limited budget he often sold earlier purchases back to the firm to fund more expensive transactions) and then the patron of many of the smaller dealers that emerged in Mayfair and St James’s in the 1990s.
Provenances across these lots include A & J Speelman, Jan van Beers Oriental Art, Anthony Carter, Ben Janssens Oriental Art, Dries Blitz, The Oriental Art Gallery, Marchant and Son, Gerald Hawthorn and Roger Keverne.
Lawley’s interest in early Chinese ceramics expanded to include Ming and Qing metalware and cloisonné enamel in particular. Pictured here is a rare 13in (33cm) Jiajing period pear-shaped ewer with an apocryphal Jingtai four-character mark purchased from Anthony Carter in August 2000.
Ewers like this with medallions decorated with lotus are termed jinlian xingye hu (ginkgo leaf lotus decoration ewers). Estimate £20,000-30,000.
An additional 76 lots from the Lawley collection form part of Lyon & Turnbull’s sale on November 3.