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

Jean Lindsay of 22 Nanking Road

Posted: August 14th, 2016 | 5 Comments »

So, this advert from 1930 talks of Jean Lindsay selling ivory and bronze – Unusual “Things Chinese”. This is interesting as I had always associated Jean Lindsay with tapestries, brocades, dresses and bags rather than curio items. Jean Lindsay was always at 22 Nanking Road, on the third floor of the Kelly & Walsh Building (after the famous Shanghai publishers). I’ve put a few examples of Jean Lindsay items below, but simply do a google image search and you’ll come up with loads – most bags, dresses and accessories.

Jean Lindsay was really a ladies accessories shop and so I suppose the sideline of ivories and bronzes was just that, a sideline to the main business. It makes sense – Lindsay had a high end Shanghailander and rich Chinese clientele and, it seems, 1930s Shanghai (with it ocean liners of sojourners arriving daily) just couldn’t get enough of curio and antique shops. I believe the curios were kept in a “Studio” adjacent to the main store. The Studio had regular exhibitions – for instance in 1935 the Studio hosted “Brass Ornaments of the Ming and K’ang Hsi Periods”.

Jean Lindsay items can be partly (but not wholly – there were, you’ll not be surprised to hear, fakes out there) identified by a label stating:  ‘Jean Lindsay, 22 Nanking Road, Shanghai’.

I’m afraid I don’t know much about Jean Lindsay – beyond she must have been a woman of taste given the items below. I believe she was interned during the war though was married to a Chinese man called Yu. Anymore information of course greatly appreciated….

Jean Lindsey curios - Nanking Rd - 1930





Hand bag - Rectangular beaded hand bag (evening) in silver gold and green small glass beads. Twisted bead fringe. Gilt frame and chain. Label inside brown sateen lining 'Jean Lindsay, 22 Nanking Road, Shanghai'. 1920 (circa)

Hand bag – Rectangular beaded hand bag (evening) in silver gold and green small glass beads. Twisted bead fringe. Gilt frame and chain. Label inside brown sateen lining ‘Jean Lindsay, 22 Nanking Road, Shanghai’. 1920 (circa)


Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

5 Comments on “Jean Lindsay of 22 Nanking Road”

  1. 1 Kimberly Blanchard said at 4:31 am on September 23rd, 2016:

    I actually have a memorandum dated 11/9/30 from Jean Lindsey regarding some Ming Dynasty items I have inherited… She states that the elephants are at least 250 years old… I’m curious to know more about these elephants, and hope someone can point me in the right direction.

  2. 2 paul French said at 7:28 pm on September 23rd, 2016:

    Kimberly – I think you mean Qing Dynasty? The Ming was 1368–1644, considerably more than 250 years ago. The Qing was 1644-1912. Jean Lindsey specialised in Qing artifacts and objects.

  3. 3 Hanne Herrman said at 12:59 am on November 12th, 2017:

    Today, Nowember 11. 2017 i Oslo I bought a Jean Lindsay robe in a secondary market for les than 4 euro.

    If someone knows more about her life and career I would appreciate to know.
    Regards from
    Hanne H.

  4. 4 Debra Grey said at 4:00 am on December 9th, 2017:

    I have just purchased a Jean Lindsay happiness clutch bag from a charity site. I paid more than I would normally at £252 but just loved the bag.I will keep it forever. the description said the toggle and plaque were cowbone. I am just looking to learn more about the lady who made the bag.

  5. 5 Jan Worth said at 12:00 am on September 11th, 2018:

    I am so pleased to have found this site as I have recently purchased this exact bag shown here on this page! I bought it because I recognised it immediately as I had bought another one about 15 years ago and it had the original label still intact.

    Could you tell me what the writing says on the front? Also mine has a netsuke attached to the zip.

Leave a Reply