There is a limited amount of information available in regard to collectors who bequeathed objects to the Dumfries Museum, or how the donors may have acquired objects from East Asia. Two figures that stand out are Miss Dorothy Sandeman (b. 1888) and Miss Helen Murray. Most of the 56 items donated by Dorothy Sandeman in 1954 are Japanese related. Highlights from her collection are inrō, lacquer, ceramics and a scroll painting. Helen Murray (Murray family) donated 50 items to the museum in the 1950s and many of these came from Japan and China. Murray’s donations included a bronze mirror, a19th-century matchlock gun, lacquerware and ceramics, in addition to objects from Tibet and Mongolia.
There are 69 items in the collection at Abbotsford Trust, Melrose, mainly of the late-19th and 20th centuries. The collection at Abbotsford is very diverse with objects ranging from Sir Walter Scott’s (1771-1832) own time to items that furnished the wing, a later Victorian extension to the historic house. As such the artefacts in the collection are likely to be a mixture of exports and souvenirs.
Key objects in the collection are those that date from the 19th century and possibly overlap with the time that Sir Walter Scott lived at Abbotsford. Interesting artefacts include a pair of Chinese silk-embroidered panels, a Chinese famille rose garniture of three slender baluster vases and two cylindrical spill vases with flared necks, a pair of Chinese paintings on silk, and two Chinese lacquered folding games boards.
According to internal records at Hawick Museum, there are 82 objects from China, Japan and Korea. Hawick Museum has a small collection of artefacts gathered from East Asia in the late 19th century. Travellers and merchants from the town sent objects back home as curios for the Hawick Archaeological Society. The items they collected from China and Japan include religious items, weapons, opium pipes, statues and ceremonial items.
Within the collection at Hawick, there is a Japanese lantern clock that was donated to the museum by George Wilson in 1910. The clock is a rare example of the weight-driven double foliot system developed by clockmakers in the mid-Edo period (c. 1603-1868).