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THE FARROW COLLECTION OF CHINESE WORKS OF ART
George F. Farrow (1916 - 2001) was born in Greenwich, South London and lived in London until just after World War II. Having attended the local school until the age of sixteen, he then embarked on a career in the building industry, qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor through evening classes. He was deemed too useful to be sent abroad during the War, and was stationed in London where he assisted the south-east division of the R.A.F with logistical matters. Following the war, he took over a small property development firm which soon grew to become one of Britain's largest private landlords.
During the 1950s Farrow commenced collecting European bronzes. At this time his work load was taking a toll on his health and he was advised by his doctor to take retirement.
Needing to move to a warmer climate, he moved in 1966 with his wife and youngest son briefly to San Remo, and then to Monte Carlo. However, they yearned for the British way of life, and in 1971 finally moved to Jersey, Channel Islands, where they converted a run-down farmhouse, Anne Port Farm, to not only a comfortable home, but somewhere to house their by now very significant collection of antiques. He resided there until his death in 2001, aged 84.
The Farrow Art Collection comprises Italian and other European works of art, furniture and paintings; superb Oriental carpets; and Chinese works of art, and it is this last category which Christie's is delighted to offer for sale.
The collection was meticulously catalogued by Farrow in various volumes according to type. In his raison d'être to the collection, George Farrow eloquently explains how, why and when he started collecting, and mentions in particular his fascination for Oriental rugs, the category most close to his heart. He recalls that from a young age, school trips introduced him to The Horniman Museum, and his parents, on special occasions, would take him to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which proved to be his favourite museum.
George Farrow was clearly a Renaissance man as attested by his impeccable taste across so many fields. Although Oriental carpets were his passion, it is interesting to note that his very first purchase was a Chinese blue and white charger dating to the Kangxi period.
"I did have from a very early age a sincere and pure love of art - art as such without any influence whatsoever of profit" (George F. Farrow)