After retiring from the banking industry, my brother Ken began to collect objects and artifacts he found on his many trips to Indonesia and Thailand. A patron of the arts, he also began to invest in and support local Indonesian tribes, and artisans who were using traditional methods to replicate historical items. He donated money to building schools in areas that needed them, and committed himself to buying exclusively from these tribes.
In 2014, Ken moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Not long after he arrived, he was involved in a motor accident, complications from which took his life in December of that year. In the few short months he lived there, Ken had expanded his collection enormously, filling his apartment with all kinds of carefully chosen, authentic and original pieces.
Perhaps Ken's interest in travel and antiquities was to be expected, given the history of our family. Our Great-Great-Grandfather Charles Clarke, a prominent businessman from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, owned a fleet of riverboats he used to transport goods up and down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. In 1890, he retired from business and travelled the world with his son, Louis Semple Clarke, founder of the Autocar Company, purchasing artifacts from Asia, Africa, and Europe. The objects they collected were handed down through the generations, many of which my brother and I inherited. Their historical and sentimental value ensure that they will remain in our family for many generations to come.
Ken's collection is immense, and my desire now is to share these items with you, whether you are a traveller and adventurer, an investor in cultural artifacts, or simply a lover of art.