November 5, 2011

Link to Tom Flynn's blog: Auction house to offer rare Chinese Qing dynasty Imperial gilt metal box looted from Beijing Summer Palace

Chinese gilt metal box
Tom Flynn, a London-based journalist and art historian, writes with passion about the business of selling art. Recently on his blog, artknows, a post titled "More 'loot' from the Beijing Summer Palace at Salisbury auction in November' was distributed by the Museum Security Network (MSN) and caught my interest as we had recently at the ARCA blog run posts about auction catalogues and provenance descriptions.

Dr. Flynn, who has taught "Art History and the Art World" at ARCA's Postgraduate Certificate Program in International Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection Studies, discusses the item in his latest post and what Chinese and Asian buyers may spend to recover this and other items:
The fine and rare Chinese Qing dynasty Imperial gilt metal box appearing at Wooley & Wallis's November 16 sale of Asian Art bears an inscription - "Loot from the Summer Palace, Pekin, Oct. 1860. Capt. James Gunter, King's Dragoon Guards."
There are no international treaty's or agreements that would return this item to China as UNESCO's 1970 convention does not apply to items stolen prior to 51 years ago.