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.
A Sydney auction house has withdrawn black rhinoceros horns from a sale scheduled for this Friday, less than an hour after animal conservationists launched a social media campaign demanding the items be removed. But Humane Society International (HSI) said despite the quick win on Tuesday, it will keep campaigning to see two pairs of elephant tusks also be taken off the auction list at Lawsons, based in Leichhardt.
A gold nugget found near Ballarat and weighing more than 3.5 kilograms has been sold for $292,800 at auction in Melbourne. Three men came across it at an undisclosed location near the Victorian town when they were prospecting along the side of the road in 2012. The Destiny nugget - named as such because the trio believed it was their destiny to find it - is the size of two fists and weighs 3.663kg.
It was a wedding gift that for years was commandeered as a goalpost by his children – so Terry Nurrish was stunned when this ornament was valued at £10,000 on the Antiques Roadshow in 1991. But the retired farmer decided to keep hold of the antique for a just little longer... and it turned out to be a wise decision. It has now sold at auction for a staggering £668,000, the most expensive sale price of any item valued on the long-running show.
In this antiques roadshow, 430 lots of prized sculpture, furniture, art, textiles and religious icons valued at $1.5 million travelled from Sydney to Melbourne in containers along the Hume Highway destined for our collecting capital, Armadale.
The patron saint of travel, Saint Christopher, wasn't aboard as a statue but he ensured the medieval and renaissance collection of an anonymous Sydney woman arrived in one piece at Mossgreen for an auction on September 14.
One of the international art world's most intriguing mysteries ended last night when Kerry Stokes outed himself as the mystery buyer of one of the most expensive books ever sold.
The fate of the legendary Rothschild Prayerbook - sold at Christie's in New York eight months ago for $15.5 million - had baffled art collectors.
By Terry Ingram on 07-Sep-2014 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Two old troopers from the allied fields of art and books put new life into the major annual event in the Australian antiques world-the Australian Antique and Art Dealers Association fair at the Chelsea Room at the Royal Randwick Race Course Randwick at the end of August, writes Terry Ingram.
A third old trooper also chipped in from across the years - if you count a familiar old major on an old canvas that was one of the 44 dealer fair show-stoppers. The portrait of Major James Winniett Nunn on the stand of Sydney Antiquarian bookseller Hordern House drew an almost constant visitation.
By Terry Ingram on 19-Aug-2014 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
A precious link in the Australian saleroom has been broken with the death on August 17 2014, and after a long illness, of Bruce Rutherford.
What was conceivably the most prestigious sale held in Australia at the time – and possibly to this day – was held by Sotheby's in 1973 four years after Rutherford's appointment as the firm's representative for Australia.
By Terry Ingram on 14-Aug-2014 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
If a Lotus land is an idyllic place of contentment as it is sometimes defined, Lawson's must have whisked a Sydney North Shore vendor away there on August 14 when it auctioned a bronze Buddha figure on that consignors behalf, in its rooms in Leichhardt, writes Terry Ingram
By Richard Brewster on 28-Jul-2014 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Classic antique furniture, porcelain, paintings, silver and glass will be a collectors’ paradise for auction goers when E.J. Ainger places the estate of the late Patricia Jackson under the hammer from noon Sunday August 3 on site at 52 St Georges Road, Toorak.
Both Patricia Jackson, who died earlier this year aged 89, and her husband Gordon were well known for entertaining and collecting (his passion was Australian ceramics donated after his death to the Geelong Art Gallery in appreciation of his family’s long association with the city through Jackson Tanneries) and the home reflected her style and personality.
By Terry Ingram on 13-Jul-2014 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
The market in rare Chinese antiques just won't lie down. A new auction record for Chinese furniture is now being claimed by Lawson's for a 17th century Ming/Qing love seat or day bed sold at a house contents auction it held in Vaucluse, Sydney yesterday writes Terry Ingram
Unlike many of the previous high prices the record was not entirely unexpected. Indeed It seems to have fallen a little short.
Yet various prospective buyers enlivened the weekend viewing by examining the bed thoroughly with magnifying glasses and ultra violet light undaunted by its anonymous offering in a curious openly hybrid (an offspring of room and house contents) auction of carpets, Australian paintings and other Chinese antiques.
By Terry Ingram on 06-Jul-2014 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Flights by still trending or new-to-the-market traditional artists helped lift results of the auction of the Bill and Eileen Cammack collection by held by Lawson's Auctions in the Menzies rooms in Sydney's Kensington on July 5 and 6.
Works by Neville Cayley (the son) soared above their modest estimates and very special paintings by John Allcot cruised away.
Also keenly bid were watercolours by a rarely seen at auction 101 year old painter of Central Australian Aborigines, Helen Baldwin, while many artists thought to have been lost to the culture bin reappeared with a surprising spread of takers.
But the big contribution to the unexpected excess value in the sale came from its 60 lots of carved Chinese ivories which were chased by members of the local Chinese community in the heavily packed room.
By Terry Ingram on 18-Jun-2014 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
The trophy market is under pressure judging by two transactions which have taken place in the market for objects of desire over the past two weeks.
Saleroom habitués must begin wondering if the markets in art and the classic car, will also feel the pinch.
For it is in these upper reaches of the market, enthusiastic buying of the very rare and special, which increasingly invites the term trophyism, has been most emphatic.
Auctioneers frequently congratulate bidders from the rostrum of having won a lot they have just knocked down to them.
The objects, a stamp and a bank note still sold for a lot of money: $US9.01 million and "around $A1 million" respectively, writes Terry Ingram.
A unique Melbourne Football Club jumper, as worn in the 1900 grand final by Austin ''Goosey’' Lewis, has been pulled from sale after a dispute over its worth, writes James Cockington in The Age. The jumper is said to be one of the oldest in Australian football and estimated to be worth between $5,000 and $10,000. It was to be sold on Wednesday by Charles Leski, now part of Mossgreen Auctions in Melbourne. But Mossgreen specialist Max Williamson said vendors - the distant family of Austin Lewis, a member of the 1900 Melbourne side - wanted more than any other football item had been sold for.
By Terry Ingram on 23-Apr-2014 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
A piece of furniture which sold in a Leonard Joel decorative arts auction in Melbourne for $3210 on May 24, 2010 is being promoted as the star piece of a Mossgreen sale of Australian Antiques and Historical Collectables on June 3 in Melbourne, with estimates of $250,000 to $300,000.
Mossgreen has yet, of course, to find a buyer for the piece. But intensive research by the furniture history buff who bought it appears to support something of a revised re-evaluation of this rather unlikely candidate for stardom.
The lot, which could give a push to the static market in Victorian furniture and colonial collectables, is an elaborately made cradle from the 1840s which in outward appearance, is the very nemesis of current taste.
By Terry Ingram on 15-Apr-2014 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Chinese buyers paid one staggering and several top notch prices at Sotheby's Australia auction of Fine Asian, Australian and European Arts and Design in Sydney on April 15, writes Terry Ingram.
Their bidding was still the major contributor to the $2.29 million gross which represented 134.15 per cent by value and 72 per cent by lot and compared with estimates of $1.71 million to $2.54 million.
By Terry Ingram on 09-Apr-2014 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
At the invitation of Christie's, a Sydney collection is being bulked up by the Mayfair decorative arts trade to create an innovative type of auction at South Kensington on June 4. The Art of Design sale is being led by two portraits from Australia by the Belle Époque painter Emile Blanche and 18th century British artist George Romney.
The Romney, Mrs Moody ….Holding a dog in her lap is pictured here in an interior from the former Watsons Bay home of French fashion plate designer Alfredo Bouret Gonzalez and the late Lex Aitken who formed the Sydney collection and also were the vendors of the Bridget Riley works sold in Sydney last August.
By Terry Ingram on 05-Apr-2014 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
The surprise inclusion of Christie's auction of Australian and New Zealand art sale in London last October has been acquired by the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington.
But visitors to that august public institution, part of the National Library of New Zealand, may have some difficulty in finding it if they look under the artist named in Christie's catalogue.
The inclusion, a watercolour titled A Settler and her Daughter with Maoris at Wanganui, with Mount Ruapehu Behind, was catalogued as the work of John Alexander Gilfillan (1793-1864).
By Terry Ingram on 01-Apr-2014 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
In another defining moment for the antique and art market in Australia, Sydney's oldest antique centre, the Sydney Antiques Centre, is to cease trading on June 30.
The building housing the 40 year old centre is going out to selective tender and the 50 plus stall holding tenants given until that date, that is triple their normal monthly notice, by the owner Anibou Pty. Ltd., to leave.
By Terry Ingram on 27-Mar-2014 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Two pieces of Australiana sold comfortably above their estimates at very different auctions in Melbourne and Sydney this week, writes Terry Ingram .
The confident pictorial expressions of the colonies in different stages of their early development – and almost trophy lots - sold for around exactly the same hammer price which was well over $300,000 and in excess of expectations.