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The Empress and Mrs. CongerThe Uncommon Friendship of Two Women and Two Worlds$
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Grant Hayter-Menzies

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789888083008

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888083008.001.0001

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Letters to China

Letters to China

(p.262) (p.263) 18 Letters to China
The Empress and Mrs. Conger

Grant Hayter-Menzies

Hong Kong University Press

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

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