Richard Noel Postlethwaite was born in Halifax, Yorkshire. After graduating from Clare College, Cambridge, with a Mathematics Tripos degree, he moved to Yokohama in Japan to work for the Rising Sun Petroleum Company (known today as Shell), where he was an Accountant and Director until 1922.
When living in Yamate (known in English as The Bluff), the foreigner's settlement in Yokohama, Postlethwaite met and married Ella Adeline Vincent Cain. Many of the silver pieces included in this sale would have been acquired, or were gifted to the couple for their wedding
Postlethwaite was colleague and friend of Hugh Malcolm (1886-1961), then Managing Director of the Rising Sun Petroleum Company, whose collection of Japanese Works of Art was successfully sold by Lyon & Turnbull in 2016.
Postlethwaite returned to England just before the Tokyo-Yokohama earthquake of 1923, and brought back his extensive collection of Japanese silver, bronze and ceramics.
After successful results in our November 2018 auction, the second part of the collection will be offered at our Edinburgh Asian Works of Art auction in March 2019.
Highlights from the Postlethwaite Collection include several Meiji Period pieces including a three piece Meiji Period silver coffee service by The Miyamoto Company, a fine silver box with three small silver boxes, a bronze okimono of a standing archer, and a pair of inlaid bronze ‘Cockerel’ vases signed Hidekuni.