1 When I arrived at Marders Nursery, I was amazed to see so much statuary for sale. There were many, many Buddhas and other great objects.
2 I was told that this entire collection came from the estate of John Thomas Barham of Bridgehampton, who passed away in June of 2013.
3 This is a beautiful Buddhist nun acquired from China.
4 Barham, who studied at the Parsons School of Design and worked as an interior designer as a young man, had a house and a two-acre garden in Bridghampton.
5 An heir to the Planter's Peanut fortune, Barham was passionate about statuary and traveled the world collecting it. These are Buddhist monks, also from China.
6 A rather quirky individual, Barham traveled to remote places during the 1950s and 1960s when international travel to developing countries was much less frequent.
7 The seated bronze Buddhas were purchased by Mr. Barham from a licensed antique dealer in Paris, France. They are late 19th and 20th Century Buddhas seated in a traditional pose. This one holds a pomegranate, one of the three sacred fruits of Buddhism. It represents fertility and abundance.
8 Barham began gardening as a young boy, digging up ferns and wild orchids from the wild to replant at home.
9 A cousin, Roland Totten, formerly of the botany department at the University of North Carolina, introduced Barham to the intricacies of leaves, trees, and fantastic gardens by the time he was eleven.
10 Barham's Bridgehampton garden was a unique blend of garden and gallery.
11 The garden was actually a series of rooms filled with beautiful plants and all of this statuary.
12 I bought one of these Buddha heads for my grandson, Truman. Truman bows and says namaste whenever he sees a Buddha.
13 Statues of Buddha heads signifies wisdom.
14 This is the Buddha head that I purchased for Truman, who absolutely loves it!
15 In China, the Laughing Buddha is known as the Loving or Friendly One.
16 This is a hand-carved recreation of a Mexican Olmec Head. The Olmec civilization existed from 1500B.C. – 400B.C. They are widely considered the first inhabitants of Central America and Mexico.
17 This is a Chinese Zodiac Sphere, depicting each animal from the Chinese calendar. Carved by hand in striking detail from polished limestone, the animals tumble over each other to echo the pace and fury of the years they represent.
18 The origin of this stone monkey is unknown. The monkey appears to be wearing a space helmet and the period during which Barham was collecting overlaps with the space-race and the decision to send a monkey into space.
19 On June 11, 1948, Albert, a rhesus monkey, was sent into space. The statue and the period it was purchased make it very likely that it was related.
20 I was especially drawn to a pair of Chinese guardian lions, which guard the entrance of the dwelling they inhabit to ward off evil spirits and protect the occupants. The male, with a chain through its mouth, bares its teeth in menace towards any unwelcome visitor.
21 The vein of its neck is pronounced and suggests the power of the beast watching over the entrance.
22 The female is equally vigilant. She is elegantly carved with an attractive curve sweeping from body to neck and appears graceful and deadly as she observes all who pass by.
23 These lions seem to echo the Chinese tradition of guarding the entrance of a home with Foo Dogs - Chinese representations of lions - and which protect the home and individuals inside from evil spirits.
24 After getting sidetracked by all the statuary, I began looking at trees. This row behind the Greek statues are pruned Hornbeams (carpinus betulus fistigiata). The grower over a period of three years trained the trees into the shape they are now.
25 This is the same tree that has not been pruned - a dwarf hornbeam (carpinus betulus columnaris nana).