S otheby’s is delighted to present an exciting single owner sale: 'Two Americans in Paris, The Collection of Sam and Myrna Myers' during Asian Art Week this November.
A core feature of the Myers Collection is that it was assembled by a couple with a unified taste. This underlies the variety of objects in the collection. Their distinctive aesthetics, the different times and places they belong to, constitute the narrative of their journey together and as collectors, and every object in the Myers Collection bears witness to this journey.
Leading the sale is an important and exceptionally rare blue and white ‘dragon’ Meiping from the Yuan Dynasty, an exquisite Nepalese gilt copper alloy Buddha dated 14th /15th century, and a superb collection of blue and white porcelains from the Ming dynasty, excellent textiles and early jewelry pieces by JAR in 1977 using early Chinese jades.
A Journey of Discovery | A Quest for Rare Chinese Porcelain
Two Americans in Paris - The Role of Chance
Myrna and I were both second generation Americans. Our parents worked their way up in the classic American immigrant fashion after the Depression. As Myrna used to say, “I married up in life. My father was a grocer, but Sam’s was a delicatessen man.” We were each the first ones in our family to go to college. We did not grow up surrounded by antiques or art.
When we married, we discovered an antique shop on the corner of 3rd Avenue near our 87thStreet studio apartment, and found some carved glass vases, an old mirror and a few other bits of “decoration”. Moving to Paris, we continued to visit the antiques shops, but just bought small things that attracted us – glass, ceramics, copper and carved wooden objects – nothing of importance.
However, when we took a trip to Switzerland that first year, chance intervened and opened a path that we would follow for the rest of our lives: on vacation, I drove to Locarno, thinking I was going to Lugano, 50km away. We found the town uninteresting, asked if there were any antique shops and were told there were many in a small town 7 km away – Ascona – so off we went. And this is when our collecting journey really began.
- Sam Myers
The Early days of JAR
"We met Joel Rosenthal when he had a shop on Rue Jacob, after Myrna opened the gallery on Rue de Beaune, before he became JAR and opened his discreet shop on Place Vendome. At that time we had been collecting jade for several years. Myrna thought that it would be a good idea to mount some of the pendants as necklaces. She talked with Joel, who agreed to study the pieces and propose designs for each of them, using essentially silk cords and gold."