A Massive Bronze Elephant, Thailand, 19th Century
Well and naturalistically cast, the elephant depicted in a dynamic trumpeting position with its front left leg lifted, trunk raised and mouth open
to the tip of the trunk height 30.9" — 78.5 cm.
From the Collection of Robert Stephenson (lots 268-274)
We are privileged to offer further pieces from the discerning collection of Robert Stephenson, a renowned collector and dealer. Bob was born in Brantford, Ontario in 1948. After receiving an honours degree in physics, mathematics and chemistry, he pursued a successful career in banking. In 1980, he was transferred from Vancouver to Asia with the Toronto Dominion Bank, and it was there that he fell in love with Asian art. He began collecting Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean pieces, and became particularly enamoured with figures of the Buddha, explaining that they gave him a sense of “peace and serenity”. To accommodate his growing collection, Bob began to sell various pieces, and in 1983 he and a friend, Nonny Clemete, established their company Artifacts. When the bank proposed Bob’s relocation to North America in 1984, he opted to trade in his suit and tie for his signature silk-shirt-and-black-pant ensemble, and focused all of his time on collecting and dealing in Asian art. He expanded Artifacts internationally, establishing showrooms in Hong Kong, Brussels, Toronto and Manila, and also opened a factory workshop in Manila where furniture was produced. Bob’s passion for Asian art was enduring, and despite his success in banking, he asserted that “I know I am much happier this way. Maybe I have to work twice as hard, but I am also having twice as much fun doing what I do.” Bob’s collection was internationally recognized for its quality and breadth, as highlighted in Dimensions in Living magazine (March 1988, Hong Kong), illustrated here.