Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


Dedham, MA – Grogan & Company Fine Art Auctioneers and Appraisers is pleased to present for auction the Private Collection of Important and Collectible Asian Decorative Works of Art from the Estate of Frederick Rush Innes, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The auction will be held on Sunday, October 3rd at 12 noon and will comprise of over 500 lots of Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asian Decorative Works of Art, a culmination of over 50 years of collecting.

The collection spans the Song, Ming and Qing Dynasties and includes a large selection of 18th and 19th century Chinese Cinnabar Lacquer Ware, Archaic Bronzes, Longquan and other Celadon Wares, Blue and White Wares, Cloisonné Wares, Korean Celadon, a selection of Jade and Hardstone items; as well as Japanese Satsuma Ware, Inro, Lacquer Ware, Swords and Tsubas, Porcelain and Ceramics. The Kangxi, Qianlong and Jaijing Periods are represented, as well as Yingqing, Wucai, Longquan, Junyao, Famille Verte, Famille Rose, Blanc de Chine and Flambé examples. Highlights include a Chinese Blue and White Qianlong Covered Ewer, estimated at $10,000-15,000 and a Chinese Ming Dynasty Meiping Vase, estimated to bring $6,000-8,000. A Chinese Famille Rose Qianlong Period Peach Bowl is estimated to bring $5,000-7,000 and a large Blue and White Kangxi Period Bowl has a $3,000-5,000 presale estimate.

Frederick Rush Innes was born in 1916, the eldest of five children. Innes, as he called himself, began his studies at MIT in the pursuit of a degree in Electrical Engineering. He was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy in 1940 and was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. He later became part of the occupying forces in Japan, where he first developed his love of the Asian style.

After completing his service in 1945, Innes received his degree from MIT in 1946 and then enrolled as a PhD candidate in Theoretical Physics at the University of Pennsylvania. Innes moved to Boston after his graduate degree, where he became acquainted with two of the most important and influential galleries of Asian antiquities at the time: The Yamanaka and The Yatsuhashi Galleries. These venerable establishments scoured Asia for the finest pieces being sold from private collections due to post-war necessity. They brought pieces back to the major American cities, and the cognoscenti found these shops essential to the development of their mid-century collecting. Here Innes was able to purchase some of the core pieces of his collection and develop a critical knowledge of Asian Art and Antiquities.

As a theoretical physicist at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Hanscom AFB during the 1950’s, Innes had many opportunities to visit Japan on joint research programs. After honing his eye, Innes spent the next three decades frequenting both galleries and auctions, collecting items from major New England estates with ties to the China Trade and the Japanese market. Boston was the hub for such collections and pieces of unusual rarity were readily available.

Although the abundance of fine Asian pieces dwindled by 1980, Innes continued collecting in areas where there was less competition. He went from blue and white, to monochrome, and eventually to fragments and damaged works of great quality. His intellectual appreciation and pursuit of quality knew no bounds or restrictions.

He retired in 1985, but continued to work on various physics problems up until his death. He was a regular day and nighttime presence at the MIT library. In his later years he was known for his striking appearance throughout Cambridge; with his thick white hair and flowing beard, so that even ‘Click and Clack’ of National Public Radio mentioned Innes in his last year of life as that, “Gandalf look alike in Harvard Square.”

The gallery will be open for exhibition on October 2nd ; Hours: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 12 noon. A fully illustrated on-line catalogue is available at For more information, please contact Grogan & Company at 781-461-9500.