ASIAN ANTIQUES & ETHNOGRAPHIC ART
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asianart@lasieexotique.com

Collectors


Donald F. Harris

New York, NY

Graduating at Penn State University, Class of 1948, he worked as a Petroleum Engineer in management and held positions for Standard Oil of California, Gulf Oil (Chevron) and Kuwait Petroleum. He had lived in many countries, such as,  Chile, Panama, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Along the way he collected items of interest. In retirement he resided in New York City on West 72nd Street and was involved in the Grand Destiny Campaign at Penn State and helped broaden educational opportunities for undergraduate and faculty in the College of Earth and Mineral Science. He was a volunteer at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera and the Institute of International Education.

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George Lazarnick (1910-2004)

San Diego, CA

Born and raised in Long Island, New York, The tall and handsome man, George, garnered a scholarship to Cornell University for competitive swimming. He ended up with a degree from the School of Business from Columbia University in 1935. George destined to join his father’s business of professional photography, elected after college to circumnavigate the world by freighter travelling to the Far East documenting his adventures by his camera’s shutter. Upon return he joined his father’s studio and opened his own Manhattan photo studio in 1940.  His business was quickly brought to prominence for celebrity and advertising shots including clients such as Birdseye Frozen Foods and Campbell’s Soup.
 
George was always a collector he enjoyed the intricacies of artistic expression. His first collection was philately. His prized acquisition was a rare 1887 edition from the Falkland Islands. He sold that stamp collection in 1991 to Hammer’s of London.  In 1970 George and his wife Verna from Seattle moved to Hawaii where they consciously decided to decorate their home in Honolulu with a focus on Asian Art. Acquiring a broad spectrum of the best Decorative items available including Chinese Ming furniture and paintings, Thai sculpture and Japanese Meiji Bronzes. Their ultimate focus was on Japanese Netsuke, learning about the artists and photographing netsuke including their signatures, resulting in the definitive work on Japanese Netsuke artists, the 2-volume edition “Netsuke & Inro Artists & How to Read Their Signatures”.  The definitive Western guide to collecting netsuke published in 1982. He also was generous in sharing his knowledge by regular contributions to the Journal of  The International Netsuke Collector’s Society and the Netsuke Kenkyukai Journal. George’s passion for Netsuke resulted in forming two collections. The first being sold by Eskanazi Ltd., London in 1990 and the second was sold by Sotheby’s London in 2000.  In the late 1990’s George & Verna returned to the mainland by choosing San Diego as their retirement city.

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Dr. Verne Chaney

New York, NY
 
Intermed International’s President and Founder, Dr. Verne E. Chaney, was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He received his undergraduate degree from the Virginia Military Institute, his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and his Masters degree in International Public Health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He trained as a general surgeon and later a thoracic surgeon at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Medical School Hospital. During the Korean War he served as a battalion surgeon, and was himself wounded while caring for one of his injured paramedics; he became one of highest decorated doctors of that war. Dr. Chaney was the first director and chief surgeon of Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti and later worked as a volunteer surgeon with Dr. Thomas Dooley in Cambodia and Vietnam. In 1961 Dr. Chaney, together with the late Dr. Tom Dooley’s family and colleagues, founded The Thomas Dooley Foundation, pioneering community-based rural health programs in Laos, Nepal, India, Vietnam and Cambodia. In 1976 he established Intermed Inc. in Geneva, Switzerland as the international branch of the Foundation. In 2000 the agency became officially registered as Intermed International. In his long and dedicated career as President of Dooley-Intermed Dr. Chaney instigated, managed, and supported medical aid projects of all dimensions in 14 countries. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Laos’s highest civilian award, the Order of a Million Elephants and the White Parasol; the 1993 Distinguished Service Award; and an Honorary Doctorate of Science, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2009, Dr. Chaney was the first recipient to receive the Sir Edmund Hillary Humanitarian Award from the Explorers Club in New York City. 
 
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Peggy Durdin (1910 – 2002)

La Jolla, CA
 
Oscar & Lena Armstrong , Presbyterian missionaries in China gave birth to their daughter, Margaret. She was schooled at home and attended the Shanghai American School and went on to Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, finishing her education at Columbia University with a Masters Degree. After graduation she returned to the American School in Shanghai as Head of the English Department until her marriage in 1938 to F. Tillman Durdin, a foreign correspondent for the New York Times covering the Sino-Japanese War. The newlywed couple left occupied Shanghai and moved to the Chinese wartime capital, Chungking, where their first house was bombed.
 
Early in her journalism career, Peggy was based in New Delhi as the India-Burma correspondent for Time magazine. Later, based in Southeast Asia where her husband was a New York Times bureau chief, she wrote articles for publications such as the The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look and Reader’s Digest. When Mr. Durdin was covering Guadalcanal and New Guinea, Ms. Durdin was removed to Australia and worked in American Red Cross hostels there and in New Zealand. From 1943 to 1945, she was a political adviser to Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell. In the 1950’s she joined correspondents in Hong Kong as a "China watcher," reporting on the closed communist country. In 1958, she co-edited Atlantic magazine's special edition on communist China and wrote a booklet on China for the Foreign Policy Association. In the 60’s and early 70’s her dispatches ran datelines from Afghanistan, Burma, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Pakistan , Thailand and Tonga.
 
The author, Nien Cheng, in the epilogue of her bestseller, “Life and Death in Shanghai” acknowledged Peggy, a longtime friend, for her kindness in rendering advice and assistance in the writing of her autobiography. Peggy & “Till” retired to La Jolla in the late 70’s bringing with them a lifelong collection of the antiques they acquired in their various station postings throughout Asia.
 
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Sylvia Fraser-Lu
 

Born in Invercargill New Zealand where she also obtained her MA in history from Otago University and a Diploma in Teaching from Dunedin Teachers’ College. In 1967 she joined Volunteer Service Abroad (New Zealand Peace Corps) and served for two years as a teacher in a newly established government secondary school in Kuching, Sarawak. It was there that she became interested in Asian art and culture.
 
The following three years (1968-71) were spent teaching English and studying Mandarin Chinese at Nanyang University in Singapore. After a year of teaching modern Chinese history at St. Stephens’ Girl’s College in Hong Kong, she was sent to Beijing in 1973-74 to assist in the opening of the New Zealand Embassy . After a further two years of teaching History at Island School in Hong Kong, she moved to Taiwan where she continued her studies in Chinese art and culture and began writing on Asian arts and crafts for publications such as Arts of Asia, Oriental Art, Sawaddi and Asia Magazine.
 
Shortly after her marriage to George Lu, a U.S. Foreign Service career officer, the Lus were assigned to Burma for three years (1977-80). While serving as Principal of the International School, Rangoon, Mrs. Lu spent all of her spare time researching and collecting material on Burmese art, which culminated in numerous articles and a book entitled “Burmese Lacquerware”.
 
After being reassigned to Bangkok she was appointed elementary principal at ISB (International School, Bangkok), a position she held for four years before moving to Japan in 1986. At this time Mrs. Lu was serving as series advisor for Oxford University Press’ “Images of Asia” while working full time on publications such as “Indonesian Batik: Processes, Patterns and Places”, “Southeast Asian Silverware”, and “Handwoven Textiles of South-East Asia”.
 
Upon her husbands retirement to the United States, Mrs. Lu continued her research and writing further publishing “Burmese Crafts: Past and Present”, “Splendour in Wood: The Buddhist Monasteries of Burma” and “Buddhist Art of Myanmar”.
 
Sylvia and her late husband George enjoyed their extensive travels throughout Asia and shared a collecting passion for antique objects of Burmese and Chinese origins. She currently lectures and presents papers on various subjects pertaining to Southeast Asian arts and crafts at major museums and universities in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia.
 
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Constance Margaret Goldney (1920-2009)

Ightham, Kent, U.K.
 
b. Chertsey, Surrey, U.K.
 
A descendant of Sir David Pollock (1780-1847), former Chief Justice of Bombay, her father was Colonel G.M.Goldney whom she followed into military service and became a Captain of the Women’s Royal Army Corps and went on to become the Personal Assistant to the commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. She moved to Hong Kong in the late 1950’s and became the Personal Assistant and Advisor to several chairmen of HSBC including Sir John (“Jake”) Saunders, CBE. It was during this period that Ms. Goldney became an avid collector of Chinese Snuff Bottles, Jades and Ceramics.
 
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Emmanuel Dimitri Gran (1894-1969)

New York, NY
 
Born and trained in St. Petersburg, Russia as an architect, Emmanuel Dimitri Gran in his early 20’s fled the Russian revolution making his way to Shanghai in 1917. There he practiced as an architect and began to collect Chinese art and antiquities. There in China he amassed over 15,000 Chinese objects most notably jades. He fled once again in 1941 with the looming Japanese occupation of Shanghai, to the Bay area in California, bringing with him his notable collection. He eventually made his way to New York where he became the in-house architect for Hilton Hotels. From his warehouse on Riverside Drive, Mr. Gran sold items from his collection to other major collectors of his generation before his death. The scholar’s objects and jades were kept by the family and finally sold off in 2014 at auction.


Margaret Miller White (1916-1998)

Rancho Santa Fe, CA
 
“Peg “, as she was known, was a career journalist, equestrian and gracious hostess. Educated at Wellesley College where she edited the Wellesley review, she then went on to receive a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.
 
Her first job after university was as an editorial assistant at Time magazine. She then joined CBS as an editorial assistant to famed sportscaster Mel Allen before venturing into news writing. Her assignments included writing for such programs of the time as “Report to the Nation” and “Dateline”. There she met the pioneering CBS news director Paul W. White, whom she later married in Georgetown, Washington D.C.
 
After World War II the couple settled in the San Diego area where they both wrote for the San Diego Journal. Mr. White died in 1955 at the age of 53. She continued her career writing columns for the San Diego Journal in the city section called “Air Fare” and the “Popcorn Beat”.
 
In the 1960’s she then pursued her secret passions for Arabian Horses, Flower arranging and Asian Art. She focused primarily in collecting vessels suitable to flower arranging and celadons from Korea and China dating back to the 12th century. From her collection several pieces were loaned on exhibition to the San Diego Museum of Art.

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