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The Treasure of Friendship – John’s Surprising Legacy

While Shiva Singam is very close to his family, it’s the gift willed to him by a very dear friend that brings him joy after the unexpected death of avid art collector, John, nine years ago.

John’s collection was quite staggering. He had some beautiful paintings but a particular love for fine china, including some amazing pieces from the Qing dynasty.

In 2010 John died unexpectedly, leaving behind many grieving friends and a wealth of wonderful ‘personal chattels’.

“We were just devastated, but John gave us a special way to remember him.”

“I loved that term ‘personal chattels’ when I heard it read out in the will reading. Because that’s exactly what I was gifted… personal reminders of a wonderful friend. The value of the memory is so much more important to me than the value of the china itself.”

Shiva was one of six friends that John gifted special pieces from his vast collection.

“The majority naturally went to family and quite a bit of it has since gone into institutions, but I was honoured to be gifted a beautiful set of Qing vases.”

The set of vases are adorned with peonies and climbing pink roses and date back to the late 1700s and is one of eleven pieces gifted to Shiva by John.

“I had a feeling I was getting something but it was a lovely surprise to see what John had hand picked for me. The time and thought that went in to deciding which particular items he would gift each of us is very special. It’s a great way to remember him every day.”


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