News and Opinion

In our News and Opinion and News Bites sections we publish relevant and timely articles on the antiques, collectables and decorative arts markets by respected and independent writers such Peter Fish, formerly the Sydney Morning Herald ArtSmart columnist, Richard Brewster of The Age and other writers. Subscribers are notified by email of the publication of important and time-sensitive articles.

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Aussie sleepers smoked out in old abbey and Ole Smokey

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
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.

Family Collection Spanning 100 years Up for Auction in Melbourne

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.
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 to sell 1841 silver copy of the Warwick vase.

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.
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.

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

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.
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.

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

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.
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.

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

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.
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.

 

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

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.
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.

 

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

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.
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.

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

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.
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.

The grass is greener on the other side of the Tasman.

By John Perry in New Zealand on 19-Apr-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

With the recent takeover of Webb's auction house established in Auckland in 1976, by Melbourne based Mossgreen Auctions, a new chapter for the business is about to be written.

Like all businesses Webb's has had its ups and downs and most people in New Zealand see the recent sale to Mossgreen as a rescue package for the business

Vintage posters fly out the door......

By John Perry in New Zealand on 19-Apr-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

The major drawcard for me to travel to Wellington recently was the Tim Clemence Poster Collection of New Zealand & international vintage travel, theatrical and advertising ephemera, which were included in Day 2 of Dunbar Sloane's New Zealand & International Fine Art sale.

Over the years, the market for posters in Wellington has always been constant and strong. Many of New Zealand's finest graphic designers and commercial artists worked for the now defunct New Zealand Railway Studios, a Government Department that was based in Wellington from 1920 until it was closed down towards the end of last century, Posters produced by certain artists such as Marcus King and Leonard Mitchell are in high demand and often change hands at auction for many thousands.

Max Stern – a dealer stamped with a genial countenance

The Melbourne man who must have been the biggest supplier of collectables to local and overseas markets over nearly three quarters of a century died in his adopted city on January 9. Max Stern was still going into his office in the Port Phillip Arcade when he became a nonagenerian and gave up playing football professionally not long before that. He died two weeks short of his 95 birthday for which the Australian Philatelic Traders Association was preparing a big party.
By Terry Ingram on 23-Feb-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

The Melbourne man who must have been the biggest supplier of collectables to local and overseas markets over nearly three quarters of a century died in his adopted city on January 9.

Max Stern was still going into his office in the Port Phillip Arcade when he became a nonagenerian and gave up playing soccer professionally – the oldest registered player in the southern hemisphere -not long before that. He died two weeks short of his 95 birthday for which the Australian Philatelic Traders Association was preparing a big party.

Mossgreen to offer two baggy greens

Demand for sporting memorabilia is stronger than ever and Mossgreen’s first auction of this type for 2016 is a great example. To be held on February 8 at 926-930 High Street Armadale, the auction features the Australian baggy green Test caps from two former Australian captains – one belonging to the late Richie Benaud from his last Test series in 1963-64 against South Africa and the other to Ian Chappell from the 1973-74 series against New Zealand.
By Richard Brewster on 07-Feb-2016 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Demand for sporting memorabilia is stronger than ever – particularly for early items, documents and photographs where the sporting greats have retired or died – and Mossgreen’s first auction of this type for 2016 is a great example.

To be held from 10am Monday February 8 at 926-930 High Street Armadale, the auction features the Australian baggy green Test caps from two former Australian captains – one belonging to the late Richie Benaud from his last Test series in 1963-64 against South Africa and the other to Ian Chappell from the 1973-74 series against New Zealand. 

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