The Liu family lived in Nanxun, a thriving town and center of commerce during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1644-1911). Liu
Yong (1826-1899), the family patriarch and a prestigious Qing Dynasty merchant, built his fortune on cotton, silk, salt, and
real estate. His legacy includes Nanxun's historic landmark, the Xiao Lian Zhuang (Little Lotus Garden Villa), built in 1885.
The Liu family collection was most recently in the hands of Rosie Chang, the great- granddaughter of Liu Yong and Sheng Xuanhuai
(1844-1916), the former minister of transportation.