Soame Jenyns (art historian)

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Roger Soame Jenyns (1904–1976),[1] who usually wrote his name simply as Soame Jenyns[2] was a British art historian, known as an expert on East Asian ceramics.[1]

Roger Soame Jenyns was educated at Eton and at Magdalene College of Cambridge University. In 1926 he joined the Hong Kong Civil Service.[3] In Hong Kong, he became one of the valuable contributors to the newly established journal, The Hong Kong Naturalist.[4] His articles would often touch on the cultural role of South China's animals and plants.[5]

In 1931, Jenyns left Hong Kong for England, to take up a job at the British Museum,[3] where he served as the Assistant Keeper of Oriental Antiquities until 1967.[2][6] In 1935 he published a well-received book on Chinese painting;[4] later on, he authored several books on Chinese ceramics and jades in which he described many items from the museum's collection.[1]

In 1936, Roger Soame Jenyns inherited the Bottisham Hall estate, which two centuries earlier had been owned by his remote relative, the writer and politician Soame Jenyns.[7]


Soame Jenyns married Anne Thomson Berridge on 24 April 1941. They had two sons.[2]

Books by Soame Jenyns[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Qing Ceramics, British Museum
  2. ^ a b c A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe. Person Page - 27242. They indicate their source as: Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd, editor, Burke's Irish Family Records (London, U.K.: Burkes Peerage Ltd, 1976), Berridge, page 106.
  3. ^ a b H. J. LETHBRIDGE (1970), "HONG KONG CADETS, 1862-1941" (PDF), Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch, 10: 44, 54 
  4. ^ a b c D.J.F. (n.d.), "Book Review: "A Background to Chinese Painting" by Soame Jenyns: with a Preface for Collectors by W. W. Winkworth; London, Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd., 1935." (PDF), The Hong Kong Naturalist, ?: 96–97 
  5. ^ Jenyns, Soame (1930), "The tortoise and the turtle in Kwongtung" (PDF), The Hong Kong Naturalist, 1: 161–163 . See also his other articles (search on "Jenyns" at Hong Kong Journals Online), on oysters, birds, lychee, bamboo, and tea in several issues of The Hong Kong Naturalist for 1930 and 1931.
  6. ^ Pierson, Stacey (2007), Collectors, collections and museums: the field of Chinese ceramics in Britain, 1560-1960, Peter Lang, p. 195, ISBN 3-03910-538-8 
  7. ^ Bottisham: Manors and other estates