Johan Carl Kempe (1884-1967) was a Swedish industrialist who ran a highly successful business. He collected gold and silver, as well as white and monochrome porcelain - areas hitherto relatively ignored. As soon as his collections were catalogued by Bo Gyllensvärd, they came to be internationally recognised as significant reference resources. In 1917 Dr Kempe purchased the magnificent former royal summer palace Ekolsund, where he kept all his diverse collections. His interest in Chinese works of art began during the 1920's and in 1936 Carl Kempe travelled with his wife to China where he obtained around 250 art objects that became the base for his extensive collection. Dr Kempe was a perfectionistic and skillful collector who managed to collect internationally significant Chinese objects in each area of his interest.
A Fine and Rare Bronze Rhinoceros
A Very Rare Gilt Bronze Figure of a Reclining Sumatran Rhinoceros, Xiniu, the animal modelled with distinctive wrinkles around its eyes and two horns, its heavily wrinkled neck and corpulent body incised all over to simulate coarse bristles, its legs tucked neatly underneath, with traces of gilding throughout, fitted wood box, probably Tang Dynasty (618-906), length c. 9 cm; wear, loss of gilt