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A rare 700-year-old banknote discovered by Mossgreen specialists inside the head of an ancient Chinese wooden sculpture of a Luohan – a Chinese word for a ‘perfected person’ or one who has reached Enlightenment - will be a major drawcard to the auction house’s sale of The Raphy Star Collection of Important Asian Art on Sunday December 11 in Sydney.

Old banknote discovered hidden in sculpture of 'perfect person'

By Richard Brewster on 09-Dec-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

A rare 700-year-old banknote discovered by Mossgreen specialists inside an ancient Chinese sculpture will be a major drawcard to the auction house’s sale of The Raphy Star Collection of Important Asian Art  on Sunday December 11 at 36-40 Queen Street, Woollahra in Sydney.

The banknote was found inside the head of the large wooden sculpture Luohan – a Chinese word for a ‘perfected person’ or one who has reached Enlightenment.

A Passion for Porcelain at Ainger’s Estate Auction

By Charlotte Stanes on 05-Dec-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Collectors of Chinese porcelain will be pleased to see a single-owner collection put up for auction, largely unreserved, at Aingers on Sunday 11 December.

Approximately 120 lots of porcelain, furniture and paintings were conscientiously collected over many decades by Stanley Crawford Stevens, beginning in London in the 1950’s with his wife, Constance – importantly, a period long before collecting Chinese porcelain became popular in Western countries. 

The collection was primarily sourced during their many trips to Europe - particularly from the top London dealers and collections of aristocratic families.   The couple always made a point of being in town for the Grosvenor House Antiques Fair and were also particularly attracted to Bond Street, where they formed an association with John Spinks & Son and John Sparks – both highly respected antique dealers specialising in oriental antiques.

An unprecedented offering of 'ideal cut' diamonds will go under the hammer at Leonard Joel’s final Fine Jewellery sale for the year in Melbourne, starting at 1.0 carat and including such gems as a 2.27ct classic engagement ring mounted in a four-claw platinum setting, and an impressive loose brilliant cut diamond (above) weighing 3.00ct.

Fill the stocking with perfect cut diamonds

By Richard Brewster on 27-Nov-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

An unprecedented offering of diamonds will go under the hammer at Leonard Joel’s final Fine Jewellery sale for the year in Melbourne.  Suiting budgets from $1000 to $100,000, the diamonds on offer are in a variety of styles and settings, and include numerous examples of what is widely known and accepted as the “ideal cut”.

The largest collection of furniture by Australia’s best known designer Grant Featherston (1922-1995), ever to be auctioned – a significant event for design enthusiasts, collectors and creative people – is part of the Leonard Joel Modern Design sale from 6.30pm Thursday November 10 at 333 Malvern Road, South Yarra. Included is an example of the Featherston Obo ball chair, designed in 1974 and inspired by iconic Italian designs from the 1960s, and estimated at $5,000-7,000.

Over 50 lots of Featherston furniture to feature in Leonard Joel Modern Design sale

By Richard Brewster on 08-Nov-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

The largest collection of furniture by Australia’s best known designer Grant Featherston (1922-1995) ever to be auctioned – a significant event for design enthusiasts, collectors and creative people – is part of the Leonard Joel Modern Design sale from 6.30pm Thursday November 10 at 333 Malvern Road, South Yarra. 

Assembled by Melbourne architect Cameron Lyon, the venture began as a project to build an encyclopaedic collection of the designer’s works.

Included in Mossgreen’s three-day international decorative arts sale from Sunday November 6 to Tuesday November 8 in Melbourne is a late 19th century Louis XVI style ormolu mounted kingwood bureau plat (above) by the famous London cabinetmaker Edwards & Roberts. The firm was founded in 1845 and by 1892 occupied more than a dozen buildings in Wardour Street, where they continued to operate until the end of the 19th century.

Wide selection in Mossgreen 3 day auction

By Richard Brewster on 30-Oct-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

An early 20th century Chinese headdress pictured on the front cover of the auction catalogue is a major highlight of Mossgreen’s three-day international decorative arts sale from 4pm Sunday November 6 at 926-930 High Street, Armadale.

The auction, which contains several private collections, features a comprehensive range of antique furniture, sterling silver, porcelain and other notable collectables – with the sale continuing until Tuesday November 8.

A decorative arts auction containing items from three private collections will be sold from noon Sunday October 30 at Mossgreen’s Sydney office in Queen Street, Woollahra. Vendors include controversial Australian restaurant critic Leo Schofield, the Lovett family, originally from the UK, and an unnamed gentleman collector of eccentricities. From the Lovett family comes the 19th century Georgian mahogany cellarette pictured above.

Mossgreen to offer triple-vendor sale in Sydney

By Richard Brewster on 28-Oct-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

An international decorative arts auction containing items from three private collections – including those of controversial Australian restaurant critic Leo Schofield – will go under the hammer from noon Sunday October 30 at Mossgreen’s Sydney office 36-40 Queen Street, Woollahra.

Schofield, who has a had a lengthy career as a journalist, advertising professional, creative arts festival director and trustee of arts and cultural organisations, has several fine Regency pieces of furniture (including a giltwood mirror and George IV mahogany chiffonier) and Tasmania’s Marjorie Bligh (1917-2013) autobiographical quilt among his collection.

Included in Dunbar Sloane's artefact auction held in Auckland on 19 October were 420 lots of tribal art and taxidermy from the African continent, South America and Oceania including of course New Zealand. A highlight of the sale was an excellent whalebone kotiate (handclub) (above) which sold well at $7,400 in the middle range of the estimate of $5,000-10,000.

Tribal art, taxidermy and militaria at the Holy Trinity Cathedral

By John Perry in New Zealand on 20-Oct-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

There was never a dull moment when 420 lots of tribal art and taxidermy went under the hammer at Dunbar Sloane's artefact auction held in the Visitor Center at Auckland's Holy Trinity Cathedral at the top of Parnell Rise in Auckland on 19 October.

Consisting primarily of two important private collections and a miscellany of other works from here there and everywhere, the first section of 44 lots comprised material from the African Continent.

Collections of antiques from a number of prominent Melbourne families will be sold by E. J. Ainger in their Richmond auction rooms in a special two-day sale on both Saturday October 22 and Sunday October 23. As well as a number of items of good quality furniture, the sale includes 40 items of Royal Worcester, including a reticulated vase by George Owen in 1924 (above) estimated at $3,000-5,000

Antiques from prominent Melbourne families feature in two-day Ainger's Special Sale.

By Richard Brewster on 17-Oct-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

A magnificent collection of antiques that belonged to Toorak couple the late Bruce Reid and his late wife Joy Gertrude Beattie is the highlight of E.J. Ainger’s special two-day sale from 11am on both Saturday October 22 and Sunday October 23 at 433 Bridge Road, Richmond.

Bruce’s great-grandfather William Reid, a prominent banking and racing identity of the early 20th century, started the collection, which has been cherished and handed down through several generations.

Likewise, the inaugural head of the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology (established in 1908), H.A. Hunt, left part of his collection to his granddaughter Joy.

Her father also was a keen appreciator of fine arts and lived only a few doors away from their home in Power Avenue, Toorak.

According to Aingers, the collection of Victorian furniture is one of the finest it has ever offered at auction.

Maritime items, folk art, Aboriginal and tribal artefacts and artworks, pottery, books and historical documents, silver, convict memorabilia and antique furniture comprise part two of Mossgreen’s Australian History auction from 10am Monday October 17 at 926-930 High Street, Armadale. Some of the more interesting items include a circa 1905 naval commander’s dress uniform with Queen Victoria buttons (above) once belonging to T.E.J. Bigg and a 61-centimtere long William Ricketts (1898-1993) pottery coolamon.

Mossgreen Australian History auction continues on October 17.

By Richard Brewster on 14-Oct-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Maritime items, folk art, Aboriginal and tribal artefacts and artworks, pottery, books and historical documents, silver, convict memorabilia and antique furniture comprise part two of Mossgreen’s Australian History auction from 10am Monday October 17 at 926-930 High Street, Armadale.

Some of the more interesting items include a circa 1905 naval commander’s dress uniform with Queen Victoria buttons once belonging to T.E.J. Bigg and a 61-centimtere long William Ricketts (1898-1993) pottery coolamon with applied kangaroos and an Aboriginal tribal elder.

While outside, the weather was extremely blustery - even for Hobart on a winter’s day - Mossgreen’s auctioneers enjoyed relatively smooth sailing inside the Henry Jones IXL Art Hotel when the David and Leslie Frost collection was offered for sale on October 9. Only 50 of the 374 lots went unsold and the sale grossed a comfortably-over-estimate $491,000 including buyers premium. The expected buyer for the key lot (a very rare captain’s chest) harpooned it for $73,160 against estimates of $40,000 to $60,000

Harpoon hits home in Hobart

By Terry Ingram on 11-Oct-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

While outside, the weather was extremely blustery - even for Hobart on a winter’s day - Mossgreen’s auctioneers enjoyed relatively smooth sailing inside the Henry Jones IXL Art Hotel when the David and Leslie Frost collection was offered for sale there on October 9.

Only 50 of the 374 lots in the auction went unsold and the sale grossed a comfortably-over-estimate $491,000 including buyers premium.

The most significant Tasmanian collection to hit the Australian auction market in living memory will be sold by Mossgreen Auctions in Hobart on Sunday 9 October. Comprising Tasmanian colonial furniture, maritime objects and antiques, it includes a museum quality mid-19th century whaling captain’s cabin trunk (above), made from Australian cedar and featuring intricate whale bone inlay, and estimated at $40,000 – 60,000.

Whale of an Australiana sale in Hobart

By Richard Brewster on 05-Oct-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

The most significant Tasmanian collection to hit the Australian auction market in living memory will be sold from noon Sunday October 9 by Mossgreen at the Henry Jones Art Hotel, 25 Hunter Street, Hobart.

The collection, comprising Tasmanian colonial furniture, maritime objects and antiques, belongs to David and Leslie Frost and has attracted enormous national and international attention.

Australian sleepers are still being smoked out in foreign fields – internet or not. Two offerings have come to the attention of web based saleroom habitues attention lately. One was a group of attractive pieces of gold-fields jewellery in a UK regional auction in the heart of the Cotswolds, including a gold bracelet (above) which sold for £57,000 hammer, while the second was a hoard of objects offered in Tennessee associated with the American ship, the Shenandoah, that visited Melbourne during the Civil War

Aussie sleepers smoked out in old abbey and Ole Smokey

By Terry Ingram on 01-Oct-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Australian sleepers are still being smoked out in foreign fields – internet or not. But it takes lot of hard work, experience and serendipity to find them and place them in an appreciative home that proves they were just that.

Two offerings at various levels of sleepfulness have come to the attention of web based saleroom habitues attention lately. One was a group of attractive pieces of gold-fields jewellery on the well worn paths of traditional sleeper territory, a UK regional auction and in the heart of the Cotswolds, which has one of the strongest concentrations of antique traders in the world.

Included in the rich and diverse family collection amassed over some 100 years by the McPherson family, to be auctioned by E J Ainger in South Yarra on 7 August is a 17th century Italian secretaire (above) reputedly originally belonging to an Italian diplomat, expected to bring $8,000-12,000. Sir Clive McPherson, Lady Sidney and their daughter Marion collected extensively throughout the 20th century, on their travels to Europe and locally and fastidiously held onto everything that they bought.

Family Collection Spanning 100 years Up for Auction in Melbourne

By Charlotte Stanes on 28-Jul-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

A rich and diverse family collection of paintings, objects d’art, jewellery and ephemera amassed over some 100 years will go to auction on 7th August at Aingers in Melbourne.

The collection belonged to the well-heeled and well connected McPherson family - headed up by the eminent and respected pastoralist and leader of primary industry, Sir Clive McPherson. 

Mossgreen Auctions three-day International Decorative Arts sale from July 31 features this rare and imposing silver Victorian copy of the Warwick vase on stand, by Benjamin Smith II and dated London 1841. Based on a 2nd/4th century krater discovered in pieces about 1771 at Hadrian’s villa in Tivoli near Rome, the original was restored for Sir William Hamilton (1730-1803), and after several changes of ownership over the centuries, was acquired by the Burrell Museum in Glasgow in 1978.

Mossgreen to sell 1841 silver copy of the Warwick vase.

By Richard Brewster on 28-Jul-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Mossgreen’s three-day International Decorative Arts auction in Melbourne from  Sunday July 31 contains a strong selection of sterling silver including a rare and imposing silver Victorian copy of the Warwick vase on stand, by Benjamin Smith II and dated London 1841.

The vase features relief masks of Hercules and Bacchus and sits on a square marble block containing the arms and motto of its original owner Johann Edwards.

Estimated at $30,000 to $50,000 this rare “Ghostly Wood” pattern covered vase is one of six Wedgwood Fairyland lustre items that will be offered on 19 July in Sydney at Sotheby's Australia Fine Australian & European Arts & Design in Sydney.

Australian art and rare objects to be offered by Sotheby's in Sydney.

By Richard Brewster on 14-Jul-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Fifteen Fred Williams etchings dating from 1954-1967 from the Raymond and Diana Kidd collection will be a strong highlight of Sotheby’s Australia’s forthcoming diverse international arts and design auction from 6pm July 19 at The Hughenden, 14 Queen Street, Woollahra in Sydney.

Acquired during the 1970s and 1980s, the etchings show the great craftsmanship and skill of one of Australia’s greatest landscape artists.

The collection includes works by Australian modern masters Charles Blackman, Robert Dickerson, Jon Molvig, Sidney Nolan, William Robinson and Tony Tuckson.

A rather crumpled and limp old black cotton ''singlet'' (lot 194) that once belonged to New Zealand's greatest sporting hero of the 20th century Sir Peter Snell K.N.Z.M. O.B.E.sold very well in Auckland at Cordy's June Antique and Art Sale.

Sir Peter Snell's sixties sporting ''singlet'' steals the show at Cordy's monthly sale

By John Perry in New Zealand on 22-Jun-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

A rather crumpled and limp old black cotton ''singlet'' (lot 194) that once belonged to New Zealand's greatest sporting hero of the 20th century Sir Peter Snell K.N.Z.M. O.B.E.sold very well in Auckland at Cordy's June Antique and Art Sale.

Among the items to be auctioned on site in Tasmania in the sale of the contents of The Copping Colonial & Convict Museum Collection on Saturday 25 June by Gowans Auctions, are many having their origins in the Port Arthur penal settlement, including, a huge 'man trap' (above), as well as leg irons and various other tools of punishment and labour used on and by our hapless colonial captives.

A Treasure Trove of Convict & Colonial Memorabilia Unlocked as Copping Museum Closes its Doors

By Charlotte Stanes on 18-Jun-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

The quirky old Copping Colonial & Convict Museum, along the road to Port Arthur in Tasmania, is closing its doors after almost 70 years.  The museum was first established in the 1950s by Jack Smith, as a side-interest to his service station operating next door.  ‘Scavenger Jack’ as he was locally known, was an eccentric and opportunistic collector who sourced many items of historical importance from local property owners at a time when convict memorabilia was not as widely collected and valued as it is today.

 

An extremely rare cedar long case clock, made by convict clockmaker Francis Abbott, will be auctioned in Hobart on Saturday, 18 June, by Gowan's Auctions. The story of Francis Abbott is of a convict clockmaker who became a meteorologist and astronomer, and one of Hobart's most respected citizens.

Rare convict-made clock ticks all the right boxes at auction in Tasmania

By Charlotte Stanes on 15-Jun-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

An extremely rare cedar long case clock, made by convict clockmaker Francis Abbott, will be appearing at auction in Hobart on Saturday, 18 June.

 

A 1960 self-portrait of Australian artist Ernest Buckmaster has been discovered as the backing for another of his paintings earmarked for auction at E.J. Ainger’s two-day special sale from 11am Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22 at 433 Bridge Road, Richmond. Discovered by the restorer who was busy cleaning the auction painting for Aingers, a seascape of Mentone – where Buckmaster lived during the 1930s and 1940s.

First Ainger's Special Sale for 2016 turns up newly discovered Buckmaster

By Richard Brewster on 18-May-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

A 1960 self-portrait of Australian artist Ernest Buckmaster has been discovered as the backing for another of his paintings earmarked for auction at E.J. Ainger’s two-day special sale from 11am Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22 at 433 Bridge Road, Richmond.

Discovered by the restorer who was busy cleaning the auction painting for Aingers (a seascape of Mentone – where Buckmaster lived during the 1930s and 1940s), the self-portrait has been fitted to a canvas, mounted in a beautiful period frame and also will be part of the sale.

The 1853 “First Hunt Steeplechase Trophy” will be offered for auction for the first time in 163 by Leonard Joel on 15 May. The sale will take place only a few blocks from where the trophy was originally presented – the former Prahran Course located in the precinct between what is now Toorak Road and Fawkner Park in Melbourne’s South Yarra.

Early Melbourne steeplechase trophy from 1853 to be offered by Leonard Joel

By Richard Brewster on 13-May-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

The 1853 “First Hunt Steeplechase Trophy” – offered for auction for the first time in 163 years – is a major highlight of Leonard Joel’s Asian Art, Classic Furniture & Objects auction from noon Sunday May 15 at 333 Malvern Road, South Yarra.