“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Hoggard and Sigler’s, Sassoon Arcade

Posted: July 4th, 2016 | No Comments »

Hoggard and Sigler’s was one of Shanghai’s best antiques and curio stores. Located in the Sassoon Arcade, (part of the Cathay Hotel), the store was famous for very high quality art works and curios. The American-run company was in business from 1927 through till the war.  They stocked their own sourced antiques and curios as well as representing various specialists such as Nichols Chinese Rugs from Tientsin (Tianjin), which they traded under the name Fette Peking Rugs.

The partners in the business were Clarence Doane Hoggard (who had come to China in 1919 as an auditor for the international YMCA and stayed) and W. Warren Sigler (Sigler died some time before the end of WW2). The shop was partially damaged in August 1937 with the bombing of the Cathay Hotel on Bloody Saturday. Hoggard returned to Shanghai in 1940, salvaged what he could of the stock and left Shanghai once again for America. His ship was near Borneo at the time of Pearl Harbor but eventually made it back to the USA. After the war Hoggard continued to trade Oriental antiques and curios in America – at the time of his arrival back in the USA he mentioned opened stores in both Tuscon, Arizona and St Petersburg, Florida. He did indeed open a new shop at no.9 East Penington Street in Tuscon called “Tjen” (perhaps someone in Tuscon could stroll past and see what’s there now?). Here he seems to have sold the remaining stock of antiques, statuary and curios from his Sassoon Arcade store.

While in Shanghai Hoggard and Sigler seem to have done well from the curios business, owning a nice house from 1931 in the exclusive Columbia Circle  to the west of the Settlement (just off Xinhua Road now). However, they didn’t live there but rented it out to U.S. Harkson, a businessman who, among other interests, owned one of Shanghai’s first radio stations.

Items with a Hoggard-Sigler provenance still come up for auction now and then such the these below that were auctioned at Bonham’s in London quite recently and listed as having been purchased at Hoggard-Sigler around 1936.

A carved and tinted ivory model of a cabbage and insects

Carved and tinted ivory model of a cabbage and insects – Republican period

A group of three carved and tinted ivory martial figures group of three carved and tinted ivory martial figure – Republican period

A large carved ivory head of GuanyinA large carved ivory head of Guanyin – Republican period

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