The Japanese Art Collection

The late Hugh Malcolm (1886-1961)

One of the highlights of our next Asian Works of Art auction, on 13 September, will be the Japanese art collection of Hugh Malcolm (1886-1961). Our Asian Art specialist, Dr Ling Zhu, selects some of the key pieces of the collection below - comprising fine pieces of Japanese ceramics, ivory, lacquer and metal work


hugh malcolm


Hugh Malcolm lived in the Japanese cities of Kobe and Yokohama from 1913 until 1936, where he worked for the Rising Sun Petroleum Company (known today as Shell) and was Managing Director from 1924 - 1936. Gathered over many years his collection was formed both of gifts and personal purchases, many of which the original receipts still remain.


Hugh Malcolm Interior


After the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 which destroyed most of Tokyo and Yokohama, Malcolm commissioned the Czech architect and assistant to Frank Lloyd Wright Antonin Raymond (1888-1976) to design a new house for him. Many of the items of his collection were displayed in the modernist house before coming to the UK with the end of Malcolm's overseas mission.

The highlights of the collection include a Meiji period gold-lacquer box finely decorated in the traditional takamaki-e technique with a cottage in an idyllic landscape; a fine satsuma globular jar by Keida intricately carved with a profusion of flowers and foliage on meandering scrolls; a silver warming bowl by the Miyamoto Company with an archaistic design reminiscent of ancient bronze ritual vessels; an intriguing bronze sculpture of a geisha admiring herself in the mirror; and a painted eight-panel silk folding screen depicting vivacious scenes of Chinese children playing in traditional dwellings.


Collection Highlights


Fine Gold-Lacquer Two-Tier Box and Cover

Fine Gold-Lacquer Two-Tier Box and Cover | Meiji Period | £800-1,200 (+fees)



satsuma jar

Fine Satsuma Globular Jar | Signed Keida | Meiji Period | £400-600 (+fees)



japanese silver bowl

Large Silver Twin-Handled Warming Bowl | By the Miyamoto Company | Meiji Period | £1,000-1,500 (+fees)




japanese bronze figure of a geisha

Bronze Figure of a Geisha beside a Mirror | Meiji Period | £400-600 (+fees)



japanese eight-panel folding screen

Painted Eight-Panel Silk Folding Screen | Edo/Meiji Period | £800-1,200 (+fees)






Viewing - Sunday 10 September 12noon to 4pm | 11 to 12 September 10am to 5pm | Day of Sale by appointment only

Auction - Wednesday 13 September | 11am


Dr Ling Zhu | | 0131 557 8844


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