Christie's London, 17 June 2003, lot 41.
The James E. Sowell Collection, Dallas, Texas.
Over a period of twenty years James Sowell slowly assembled the best collection of Chinese porcelain birds, animals and figures in the country. Not only comprehensive, the Sowell Collection features jewels of top quality in each category it encompasses, from important, large pairs of majestic birds, courtiers and exotic animals to charming and colorful figures of laughing boys and courting couples.
Alongside these Chinese export treasures Jim Sowell collected traditional Chinese works of art. With the same eye for quality of form and decoration, Sowell added captivating cloisonné enamel birds and animals, porcelain wares and jade carvings to the collection. All of these works of art resided happily in the Sowells’ Dallas home surrounded by classic English furniture of the Georgian period. In 2008 the export collection was published by Sowell’s dealers and advisors Cohen and Cohen in a lavishly illustrated and researched book, Mandarin and Menagerie.
A thread running through all of the Sowell Collection is stellar provenance. With acquisitions from landmark London and Paris auctions as well as from top European dealers, the Sowell Collection represents the enduring pleasures of the finest works of art. Christie's is extremely pleased to bring the Sowell Collection to market, where it will join the panoply of historic collection auctions in the field of Chinese works of art.