Chapter

Letters to China

Grant Hayter-Menzies

in The Empress and Mrs. Conger

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083008
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207554 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888083008.003.0072
Letters to China

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This chapter focuses on the scandal that was to surround Sarah's entire Chinese collection. Edwin Conger died on May 18, 1907, at the age of sixty-four, leaving her an estate of no more than $1,100 — and all she had in hand was $100. She was then forced to put the majority of her Chinese art collection to auction. A few days after the auction's end, the Evening World published what it hoped would be taken as an exposé. “United States Branded as Fence for Permitting Sale of Goods Stolen from Peking by the Allies and Brought Here by an American Minister” blared the headline. Depicted as “gratified” to hear that her “loot” had sold for an enormous sum, Sarah was not blamed directly, but she was certainly implicated in the receipt of stolen goods.

Keywords: scandal; Sarah Conger; Chinese Collection; auction; Evening World

Chapter.  6356 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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