- Also known as
A D Brankston
primary name: Brankston, Archibald Dooley
- individual; curator; British; Male
- Life dates
- Curator in the Department of Oriental Antiquities & Ethnography, 1938-41. Archibald Brankston died in Hong Kong of pneumonia when he was just thirty-one in January 1941. He had been sent there via Canada on a war mission for Britain. He was born in China and worked there as a civil engineer in 1933-5. Fluent in Chinese, Brankston assisted in the preparation of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art at the Royal Academy, 1935-1936. A sinologist, he travelled to Beijing and Jingdezhen as a Universities China Committee scholar. He also visited Ajanta and Ellora in India, Bangkok and Ayuthia in Thailand and Angkor Vat and Angkor Thom in Cambodia. Later he compiled a detailed record of the porcelain sites at Hutian and Zhushan (Pearl Hill), Jingdezhen. In 1938 he was appointed Assistant Keeper in the Department of Oriental Antiquities at the British Museum, succeeding R. L. Hobson. In 1938 and 1939 he presented Chinese Ming ceramics and shards to the Museum. After his death his sister Mrs Winifred Roberts (q.v.) and father A. W. Brankston (q.v.) gave a further eight pieces from his collection, in 1952, 1953 and 1954. Many of the pieces had been illustrated in his “Early Ming Wares of Chingtechen”, 1938. Others were lent to the first post-war exhibition of the Oriental Ceramic Society, of Ming blue-and-white ware.
Publications: "The Early Ming Wares of Chingtechen", 1938.
"Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society", 'Descriptions of Specimens, vol. 16, 1938-39, pp. 56-61, 2 Pls; 'Chinese Bronze Mirrors from the District of Yueh, with Bibliography, vol. 17, 1939-40, pp. 56-64, 2 Pls. 2 figs; 'An Excursion to Chingte-chen and Chi-an-fu in Kiangsi, vol. 16, 1938-39, pp. 19-32, 6 Pls.
- Jessica Harrison-Hall, "Catalogue of the late Yuan and Ming Ceramics in the British Museum", 2001, p. 586; Roy Davids & Dominic Jellinek," PROVENANCE: Collectors, Dealers and Scholars: Chinese Ceramics in Britain and America", 2011, pp 88 & 89; "Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society”, vol. 18, 1940-1941, pp 17&18, obituary, W.M. Elphinstone; Stacey Pierson, "Collectors, Collections and Museums: The Field of Chinese Ceramics in Britain, 1560-1960", 2007, pp. 162-3.
Jenyns, Soame. “The A. D. Brankston Collection of Chinese Porcelain.” The British Museum Quarterly, vol. 19, no. 3, 1954, pp. 54–57. www.jstor.org/stable/4422482.