A highlight of our next Asian Works of Art auction in Edinburgh on 20 March will be items from the private collection of the late William Crawford Gray (d.1918), founder of the Gray’s Carpets Ltd in Ayr, Scotland.
Begun on two hand looms in a small shop in 1876, Gray’s later grew to become one of Britain’s most successful carpet manufacturers. By the 1930s, it had showrooms in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Dublin, and Belfast, as well as international representatives in Europe, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Known in the carpet trade for having developed the ‘seamless kidder’, company founder William Gray was a world traveller and avid art collector in his private life.
The Chinese and Japanese artworks from his collection, most notably a massive Kinkozan satsuma vase, a large ivory and lacquer takarabune and a fine Chinese famille rose cloisonné-imitation vase, all reflect the exquisite taste of the Scottish entrepreneur.
Kept in the family until now, the Japanese pieces will be offered this March in Edinburgh to followed by the Chinese items in London in May. To find out more contact our specialist, Dr. Ling Zhu.