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SIRÉN, Osvald.

Early Chinese Paintings.

From A. W. Bahr Collection.

London: The Chiswick Press, 1938 Stock Code: 145347
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Inscribed by the collector

Limited edition, number 294 of 750 copies, inscribed by A. W. Bahr on the limitation page: "the 18th September 1958. To Marjorie Phelps Starr, every good wishes for your gifted appreciation and understanding of the great Chinese pictorial art. With great hopes for your own personal expressions. Sincerely your well wishing friend O. W. Bahr Ridgefield, Conn.".

Born to a German civil servant in China, the coal merchant Abel William Bahr (1877-1959) began to develop his interest in Chinese art in 1905, and started to build his collection, which in breadth and scope came to have few equals among westerners. In 1908 he promoted the first exhibition of Chinese art in Shanghai. He moved to England in 1910 but continued to make trips to China, and further developed his collection. Much of the Chinese artwork was purchased by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1947, with other Bahr material now in museums and galleries across the world.

This catalogue of Bahr's early Chinese Paintings is introduced by the Finnish-born Swedish art historian Osvald Sirén (1879-1966), one of the pioneers of Chinese art scholarship in the West. This volume accompanies his larger works including Chinese Sculpture from the Fifth to the Fourteenth Centuries (1925), The Imperial Palaces of Peking (1926) and the monumental seven-volume Chinese Painting (1956-58).

The recipient of this copy, Marjorie Phelps Starr, was a native of Bahr's adopted Ridgefield home, and though little is forthcoming about her life, she made a large bequest to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which the museum cites as contributing to the acquisition of many artworks.

This copy is from the Garden collection of Haven O'More, with his black morocco monogram book label to the front pastedown. One of the greatest book collectors of the latter part of the 20th century, O'More's collection focused both on the finest specimens of printing, and the great moments in the development of literature and thought.

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Folio. Original black cloth, spine and front cover lettered in gilt. With the black card slipcase.


With 25 mounted colour plates.


A fine copy. Slipcase somewhat worn with tape repair, but all holding.


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