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Guide to Asian Artifacts Collection

As of 2009, Furman University has the largest Asian Studies department among private liberal arts colleges in the Southeast. Although Furman established an Asian-African course requirement for its students in the 1960s, its connections with Asia extend back into the mid-nineteenth century. Because of its Baptist affiliation and influence, many Furman and/or Greenville Woman’s College alumni as well as one university president went to China as missionaries. Furman’s continued interest in Asia (i.e. the erection of the Place of Peace in 2008) makes its former connections to Asia even more significant. The goal of this guide is to allow the Furman community to explore these connections and to learn more about Asia through material objects.

All of the artifacts are located in Special Collections and Archives in the Furman Library. The bulk of the artifacts were donated by Edwin McNeill Poteat. The rest of the artifacts were donated by others: Furman professor John R. Sampey, Boyce Lokey Martin, Catharine Boyd Calhoun, and Jennie Anshus. All of the artifacts were at least brought to the United States in the 20th century. The numbers refer to the object’s ID number in PastPerfect, the University’s decorative and fine art database. The PastPerfect entries also contain further description and images. If you are interested in seeing an image or finding out more about a particular object, contact the Special Collections Librarian at (864) 294-2194.

Descriptive Summary
Creator: Edwin McNeill Poteat
Title: Asian Artifacts Collection
Location: Artifact Storage Wall and Art Storage Room, Special Collections and Archives
Extent: 18 boxes + Misc.
Abstract: Collection of artifacts collected by E. M. Poteat during his time as a missionary in China from 1921 to 1927.
Accession: 2009-003

Poteat Room
Poteat Room,
Greenville Woman's College
Biographical Sketch:

Edwin McNeill Poteat (1861-1937) was president of Furman from 1903 to 1918. After his resignation, Poteat worked with the Layman’s Missionary Movement and the Interchurch World Movement. From 1919 to 1921, Poteat served as the departmental executive secretary of the General Board of Promotion of the Northern Baptist Convention. In 1921, Poteat joined his two eldest sons, Edwin McNeill, Jr. and Gordon, in Shanghai, China where they served as missionaries. While in China, Poteat, Sr. taught Philosophy and Ethics at Shanghai Baptist College.

Poteat returned to the United States in 1927, where he did pastoral work in Richmond, VA and Atlanta, GA for four years. From 1931 to 1934, he taught Ethics and Comparative Religion at Mercer College in Georgia. In 1934, he returned to Furman University to teach New Testament and Christian Ethics. He continued to teach at Furman until his death in June, 1937. In 1937, a collection of furniture and artifacts that he had collected in China were given to the Greenville Woman’s College and placed in the East parlor of one of the residence halls. When Furman University and Greenville Woman’s College moved campuses in 1958, most of the items in the Asian collection moved as well.

References: Robert Norman Daniel, Furman University: A History (Greenville, SC: Hiott Press, 1951); Judith T. Bainbridge, Academy and College (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2001); Alfred Sandlin Reid, Furman University: Toward a New Identity, 1925-1975 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1976); Edwin M. Poteat Papers (Special Collections, Furman University); Furmaniana: Poteat (Special Collections, Furman University)

Inventory:
Artifact Storage Wall (Special Collections and Archives)

Chinese Shoe for Bound Feet
Chinese Shoe for Bound Feet
Box 1:
  • Chinese Shoe for Bound Feet - 03.02.004
  • Chinese Shoe for Bound Feet - 03.02.005
  • Chinese Shoe for Bound Feet - 03.02.052
  • Chinese Shoe for Bound Feet - 03.02.053
  • Rattle Doll - 09.05.032
  • Doll - 09.05.033
  • Doll - 09.05.035
  • Doll - 09.05.036
  • Doll - 09.05.038
  • Doll - 09.05.039
  • Doll - 09.05.041
  • Doll - 09.05.042
Box 2:

Chinese Children's Book
Chinese Book
  • Spittoon - 02.04.178
  • Lacquer Candle Holders - 02.05.223
  • Paper Fans (9) - 03.03.005
  • Bowl - 04.04.535
  • Metal Trivet - 04.04.536
  • Abacus - 06.01.001
  • Dried Flower Art - 08.02.669
  • 3-D Nature Scene in Frame - 08.02.670
  • Books (3) - 08.04.055
  • Small Paper Umbrellas (11) - 09.05.040
  • Tin Charms (3) - 10.02.028
  • Wooden Statue Stand - 10.02.029
Box 3:
  • Chinese Shirt (Separate Front and Back) - 03.02.003
  • Chinese Skirt - 03.02.054
  • Baby Pants - 03.02.055
  • Baby Dress - 03.02.056
  • Embroidered Knife Sheath - 03.03.006
  • Embroidered Change Purse - 03.03.007
  • Embroidered Change Purse - 03.03.008
  • Small Paper Screen - 06.08.001
  • Chinese Rank Badge - 08.06.022
  • Chinese Rank Badge - 08.06.023
  • Embroidered Cloth (2) - 10.02.015
  • Narrow Embroidered Fabric Piece - 10.02.016
  • Small Square Embroidered Cloth - 10.02.017
  • Small Round Embroidered Cloth - 10.02.018
  • Narrow Embroidered Fabric Pieces (2) - 10.02.031
  • Narrow Embroidered Fabric Piece - 10.02.032
  • Narrow Embroidered Fabric Piece - 10.02.033
  • Rectangular Embroidered Cloth - 10.02.034
  • Round Embroidered Paper - 10.02.035
Box 4:
  • Teapot - 04.04.542
  • Plate - 04.04.543
  • Saucer - 04.04.544
  • Teacup - 04.04.545
  • Creamer - 04.04.546
Box 5:

Cloisonné Vase
Cloisonné Vase
  • Cloisonné Vase - 02.04.179
  • Cloisonné Vase - 02.04.181
  • Cloisonné Vase - 02.04.182
  • Teacup - 04.04.547
  • Saucer - 04.04.548
  • Teapot - 04.04.549
  • Teacup - 04.04.550
  • Saucer - 04.04.551
  • Saucer - 04.04.552
  • Saucer - 04.04.553
  • Saucer - 04.04.554
Box 6:
  • Vase - 02.04.183
  • Tea set - 04.04.555
  • Demitasse Cup - 04.04.556
  • Demitasse Saucer - 04.04.557
  • Bowl - 04.04.558
  • Saucer - 04.04.559
  • Fingerbowl - 04.04.560
  • Saucer - 04.04.561
  • Porcelain Unknown Object - 10.02.038
Box 7:
  • Incense Holder - 02.04.184
  • Calligraphy Pens - 06.09.009
  • Inkstone - 06.09.010
  • Pen Holder (2) - 06.09.011
  • Pen Cup - 06.09.012
  • Pen Cup - 06.09.013
  • Inkstone - 06.09.014
  • Miniature Wooden Coffin - 08.03.124
  • Piece of Wood with Chinese Characters - 08.04.080
  • Model of Chinese Tower - 09.05.047
  • Piece of Wood - 10.02.039
Box 8:
  • Bowl - 02.04.180
  • Plate - 04.04.534
  • Dish - 04.04.537
  • Saucer - 04.04.538
  • Bowl - 04.04.539
  • Dish - 04.04.540
  • Bowl - 04.04.541
Box 9:

Japanese Doll
Japanese Doll
  • Red Silk Cloth - 10.02.014
Box 10:
  • Small Japanese Dolls - 09.05.018-09.05.031
Box 11:
  • “Whimsies” - 08.02.689-08.02.698
Box 12:
  • Box a: Model of Chinese Temple - 09.05.002
  • Box b: Porcelain Figurine - 08.02.668
  • Box c: Wooden Figurine - 09.05.043
  • Box d: Seated Wooden Figurine - 09.05.044
  • Box e: Seated Wooden Figurine - 09.05.045
  • Box f: Seated Wooden Figurine - 09.05.046
Box A:
  • Wood/Leather Tinderbox - 05.02.003
Box B:
  • Military Doll - 09.05.017
Box C:
  • Three Attached Wooden Figurines (two figures carrying one in carrying case) - 09.05.048
Box D:
  • Doll - 09.05.034
Box E:
  • “Scholar” Doll - 09.05.037
Box F:
  • Lacquer Figurine - 08.02.667

Japanese Hand Mirror
Japanese Hand Mirror
Miscellaneous:
  • Japanese Hand Mirror - 03.04.009
  • Shadow Box with Samurai Figure inside - 08.02.687
  • Shadow Box with Japanese Woman Figure inside - 08.02.688
Art Storage Room (Special Collections and Archives)
  • Stele Rubbing - 06.09.015
  • Japanese Scroll Hanging - 08.02.666
  • Japanese Woman (Appliqué Fabric on Canvas) - 08.02.682
  • Chinese Scroll Hanging - 08.02.683
  • Framed Flower Pot and Butterfly (Needlework) - 08.02.685
  • Framed Fish (Needlework) - 08.02.686

Descriptive Summary
Creator: John R. Sampey, Jr. (1896-1967)
Title: Asian Artifacts Collection
Location: Artifact Storage Wall, Special Collections and Archives
Extent: 1 box
Abstract: Fabric remnants collected by Furman professor John R. Sampey's father, John R. Sampey (1863-1946) during his time as a missionary in China.
Accession: 2006-015

Biographical Sketch

A few items were donated by John R. Sampey, Jr., head of Furman's chemistry department from 1934 to 1949. These objects were from Sampey's father, who had been a missionary in China. Only a few cloth fragments are definitely from Sampey; the rest have been mixed in with the Poteat collection, making it impossible to tell which ones belonged to him.

Reference: Mr. John Plyler

Inventory:
Artifact Storage Wall (Special Collections and Archives)
  • Cloth Fragments - 10.01.022
  • Cloth Fragments - 10.02.036

Chinese Fingerbowl
Chinese Fingerbowl

Descriptive Summary
Creator: Jane Sampey (1929-2002)
Title: Asian Artifacts Collection
Location: Artifact Storage Wall, Special Collections and Archives
Extent: 1 box
Abstract: One fingerbowl given to Jane Sampey by a missionary to China.
Accession: 2002-001

Biographical Sketch

One object was donated by daughter of John R. Sampey, Jr., Jane Sampey in 2002.

Inventory:
Artifact Storage Wall (Special Collections and Archives)
  • Chinese Fingerbowl - 04.04.051

Descriptive Summary
Creator: Boyce Lokey Martin
Title: Asian Artifacts Collection
Location: Art Storage Room, Special Collections and Archives
Extent: 2 boxes
Abstract: One Taoist Priest's Coat and One Manchurian Dragon Coat

Biographical Sketch

Two objects were donated by Boyce Lokey Martin (Mrs. Harold H. Martin) in 1970. They were brought to the United States in 1926 by Nancy Boyce Hamilton Ogden (Mrs. K. Montgomery Ogden), a relative of Mrs. Martin. Nancy Boyce Hamilton Ogden was the grand-daughter of Nancy Boyce Tupper (Mrs. Henry Allen Tupper) who was the sister of James Petigru Boyce, a theology professor at Furman University from 1855 until 1859 when he helped found the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, now in Louisville, KY.

Reference: Furmaniana: Boyce (Furman University Special Collections and Archives)

Inventory:
Art Storage Room (Special Collections and Archives)
  • Taoist Priest’s Coat - 03.02.058
  • Manchurian Coat - 03.02.059

Descriptive Summary
Creator: Catharine Boyd Calhoun
Title: Asian Artifacts Collection
Location: Art Storage Room, Special Collections and Archives
Extent: 1 box
Abstract: Three Chinese vertical landscape drawings donated by Catharine Boyd Calhoun
Accession Number: 08.02.342

Biographical Sketch

Three Chinese vertical landscape drawings were donated by Catharine Boyd Calhoun.

Inventory:
Art Storage Room (Special Collections and Archives)
  • Unframed Drawing - 08.02.342
  • Unframed Drawing - 08.02.343
  • Unframed Drawing - 08.02.344

Descriptive Summary
Creator: Jennie Anshus
Title: Asian Artifacts Collection
Location: Artifact Storage Wall, Special Collections and Archives
Extent: 1 box
Abstract: One kimono donated by Jennie Anshus
Accession Number: 2008-004

Biographical Sketch

One kimono was donated by Jenny Anshus in 2008. She was given the kimono by a Japanese friend upon her death.

Reference: Dr. Anne Quattlebaum

Inventory:
Artifact Storage Wall (Special Collections and Archives)
  • Kimono - 03.02.049

Created by Margaret Granbery
Last Updated: April 17, 2009