CHINESE CERAMICS AND WORKS OF ART FROM THE COLLECTION OF FRANCIS GOLDING (LOTS 1048-1087 INCLUSIVE)
Christie’s are delighted to be entrusted with the collection of the late Francis Golding (1944-2013). The collection of over 70 lots will be offered here and at Christie’s King Street on November 10.
Francis Golding assembled this collection over the last forty years buying from reputable London dealers such as Bluett & Sons, John Sparks, and Spink & Son, and international auction houses including Sotheby's, Bonham's, and Christie’s. It comprises works that span over two thousand years of Chinese art and includes exquisite Song dynasty ceramics, Ming and Qing dynasty porcelain, archaic, Ming and Qing dynasty jade carvings, beautifully-worked kesi textiles, and works of art including cloisonné enamel and lacquer ware. Many pieces bear the labels of famous collections such as the Dr I P Lee Collection, Sackler Collection and Alfred Clark Collection.
Francis developed a deep affinity with Chinese art after being introduced to the beauty of Tang and Song dynasty ceramics in Singapore in the 1970s by the Chinese curator and scholar William Willetts, author of the influential two-volume Chinese Art, 1958. To Francis, the joy of collecting Chinese art went beyond the thrill of acquisition and appreciation of beauty. In his words: “These objects represent to me freedom and life, not deadening possessions”. They were placed artfully in his London Georgian townhouse, where he lived with his partner, art historian Dr Satish Padiyar.
He was widely considered to be one of the country’s leading architectural, planning and conservation consultants. As such, he greatly influenced the contemporary architectural landscape of London. His clients included world renowned architect Richard Rogers, with whom he advised on The Leadenhall Building in the City of London known as “The Cheese Grater”; and Rafael Viñoly, whose distinctive building nicknamed “The Walkie-Talkie” towers above London’s surrounding historic financial district at 20 Fenchurch Street. The soaring public sky terrace there, “The Francis Golding Terrace”, was named after him as a mark of respect for a man whose passion for London’s architecture and urban landscape improved the quality of the many developments on which he advised.
Francis Golding also advised the celebrated architect Norman Foster, with whom he worked on London’s iconic building the “Gherkin”. He once famously suggested Norman Foster reconsider one of his designs with the pithy critique, “Norman, you wouldn’t want to put one of your worst next to one of Wren’s best would you?”
Francis Golding died after injuries sustained from a cycling accident in 2013.