PROPERTY FROM THE NORTON-RICHARDS FAMILY COLLECTION (LOTS 1661-1671)
The Norton-Richards Collection of jades was acquired by Ralph H. Norton (1875-1953) and his daughter Beatrice Norton Richards (1920-2001) over a twenty-year period beginning in 1941. After he retired as president of Acme Steel in 1939, Mr. Norton moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where he developed an interest in jade carvings. He had envisioned establishing a museum to exhibit his fine collection of Post-Impressionist and 20th century American paintings. However, upon reviewing his collection, he decided to expand the museum's holdings and his collection to include non-Western art. He turned to fellow West Palm Beach resident Stanley Charles Nott (1902-1969), who sold Mr. Norton several 18th and 19th century jade carvings in 1942. This acquisition was followed by a purchase of forty archaic jade carvings from C.T. Loo (1880-1957). Many of these carvings were included in Loo's An Exhibition of Chinese Archaic Jade at the Norton Gallery in 1950, and the majority of the purchase entered into the museum's holdings.
Alongside his daughter, Mrs. Beatrice Norton Richards, Mr. Norton oversaw the construction and installation of his collection in the newly constructed Art Deco building located on South Olive Avenue. Mrs. Beatrice Norton Richards continued to be closely involved with the Norton Gallery after her father's death, eventually donating a portion of her collection to the museum.
The following selection of exquisite jade carvings, dating from the Shang to Qing dynasty, passed to her son, who proudly displayed these superb carvings in his home for decades. It is with great pleasure that we present this collection from the Norton-Richards Collection.