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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Glove sofa a knockout at $8000 in Joel’s Modern Design sale.

A Poltronova Glove sofa, knocked down for $8000, was the highest furniture money earner at Leonard Joel’s Modern Design Furniture auction on April 23.
By Richard Brewster on 28-Apr-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

A Poltronova Glove sofa, knocked down for $8000, (hammer) was the highest furniture money earner at Leonard Joel’s Modern Design Furniture auction on April 23.

Other strong highlights were the Charles and Ray Eames lounge chair and ottoman, which went under the hammer for $7000, and a Poul Kjaerholm PKO chair for $6000.

Phar Lap’s shoes fetch $24,400 at Mossgreen.

By Richard Brewster on 28-Apr-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

A pair of horse shoes worn by the legendary Phar Lap sold for $24,400 (including buyer’s premium) at Mossgreen’s April 23 Sporting Memorabilia auction.

They were estimated at $15,000—$20,000.

Originally belonging to Phar Lap’s strapper Tommy Woodcock, the shoes are mounted in a frame, complete with Woodcock’s photograph, which also carries a letter of authenticity from master farrier Dick Bell.

Strong art section in forthcoming Christian McCann sale.

By Richard Brewster on 28-Apr-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Two works – one of them a major painting entitled The Garden of the Graces – by famous 19th century water colourist Ebenezer Wake Cook (1843-1926) lead a strong art section at Christian McCann Auctions forthcoming sale from noon Sunday May 3 at 426 Burnley Street, Richmond.

The painting was inspired by Greek mythology The Three Graces (in Roman mythology Gratiae) – goddesses of such virtues as charm, beauty and creativity

Saruyama Sofa to head Leonard Joel's Modern Design Sale

Leonard Joel’s April Modern Design auction features an international collection with designer pieces never before offered on the Australian auction market. A highlight of the sale on Thursday 23 April include the Saruyama Sofa designed by Toshiyuki Kita in 1989 and manufactured by Italian company Moroso, and estimated at $10,000 - $15,000.
By Richard Brewster on 17-Apr-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Leonard Joel’s April Modern Design auction features an international collection with designer pieces never before offered on the Australian auction market.

Highlights of the sale, from 6.30pm Thursday April 23 at 333 Malvern Road South Yarra, include the Saruyama Sofa designed by Toshiyuki Kita and manufactured by Moroso.

Mossgreen to sell boxing trophy presented to Peter 'Black Prince' Jackson

The 1888 Coloured Champion of the World Boxing trophy – a Victorian sterling silver two-handled embossed trophy cup – will be auctioned from 10am Thursday April 23 by Mossgreen as part of its sporting memorabilia sale at 926-930 High Street, Armadale. The cup is engraved with the words “Presented to Peter Jackson, Coloured, Champion Boxer of the World, at the Alhambra, Brighton, Eng, Monday Decr 2nd 1889, By a Few Admirers of His Sterling Qualities”.
By Richard Brewster on 17-Apr-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

The 1888 Coloured Champion of the World Boxing trophy – a Victorian sterling silver two-handled embossed trophy cup – will be auctioned from 10am Thursday April 23 by Mossgreen as part of its sporting memorabilia sale at 926-930 High Street, Armadale.

The cup is engraved with the words “Presented to Peter Jackson, Coloured, Champion Boxer of the World, at the Alhambra, Brighton, Eng, Monday Decr 2nd 1889, By a Few Admirers of His Sterling Qualities”.

Postage stamp sized views of Sydney coming up at Mossgreen

By Richard Brewster on 15-Apr-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Stamp and postal history collectors will no doubt wait with mouth-watering anticipation for Mossgreen’s forthcoming Stamps and Postal History of New South Wales auction from 6pm Monday April 20 at Martyn Cook Galleries 98 Barcom Avenue, Rushcutters Bay in Sydney.

Writing in the catalogue introduction, Mossgreen specialist Gary Watson claims the 100 lots of Sydney Views stamps are among the highest quality selections ever offered at auction.

In the face of a national downturn the "Roo" refuses to blink.

The kangaroo is a pest no more or not at least as far as the saleroom and art circuit are concerned. At sales or viewings in as oddly diverse locations such as Sydney (an auction house); Hong Kong (an art fair) and Surrey (a golf club) fine and decorative art featuring kangaroos has enjoyed keen responses – two silver examples leading the fray writes Terry Ingram.
By Terry Ingram on 14-Apr-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

The Australian dollar may have slipped together with the price of iron ore and national economic prospects. But the quintessential symbol of Australia - the kangaroo is holding tight.

The kangaroo is a pest no more or not at least as far as the saleroom and art circuit are concerned.

At sales or viewings in as oddly diverse locations such as Sydney (an auction house); Hong Kong (an art fair) and Surrey (a golf club) fine and decorative art featuring kangaroos has enjoyed keen responses – two silver examples leading the fray.

Another Melba farewell - choice objects move in towards the city

This gold presentation paperweight was presented to Dame Nellie Melba by the citizens of Geelong after a concert she had given in aid of Kitchener Memorial Hospital in 1922, which raised £7012 from ticket sales. Estimated at $40,000 to $50,000 it made $134,000 at the sale of 162 lots from Coombe Cottage, Dame Nellie's Melbourne home on March 31. It is among several lots sold to the Museum of Victoria so it will not be saying farewell to Melbourne, only to Lilydale, writes Terry Ingram.
By Terry Ingram on 02-Apr-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Against frenetic bidding at a Sotheby's Australia auction in Melbourne's Grand Hyatt Hotel on March 31, Museum Victoria outbid private buyers to secure choice lots from a selection of objects that had been collected by the opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, which given the strength of the local and global bidding in the room could have gone to overseas buyers.

With the help of the Australian Government Cultural Heritage Account the museum purchased seven lots.

Clarice Cliff mask to feature at Philips Auctions

The quaint Clarice Cliff mask, which features in Philips Auctions latest decorative arts sale, first came to public prominence in the Melbourne Herald of November 28, 1935, when it was mentioned in an article about Dr and Mrs Cecil Raphael’s new home high on the hill in Glenferrie Road, Glenferrie. As well as the mask there are several other interesting items in the sale on Sunday March 29 at 47 Glenferrie Road, Malvern.
By Richard Brewster on 26-Mar-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

The quaint Clarice Cliff mask, which features in Philips Auctions latest decorative arts sale, first came to public prominence in the Melbourne Herald of November 28, 1935.

The mask was mentioned in an article about Dr and Mrs Cecil Raphael’s new home high on the hill in Glenferrie Road, Glenferrie – and referred to because it was reflected in an immense circular mirror that hung on the wall above the living room fireplace.

Chinese thrones crown local consignments to New York's Asia Week

Two consignments from Australia appear to have benefitted substantially from the attention created by the sale of one of the world's finest collections of Asian art in New York this month. Both Sotheby's and Christie's sold works shipped across the Pacific through the local franchise and the representative offices respectively of the two companies. Christie's consignment produced a useful $US905,000 IBP for a pair of Zitan armchairs of the later Qing period, three times the top estimate.
By Terry Ingram on 26-Mar-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Two consignments from Australia appear to have benefitted substantially in the market place from the attention created by the sale of one of the world's finest collections of Asian art in New York this month.

Both Sotheby's and Christie's sold works shipped across the Pacific through the local franchise and the representative offices respectively of the two companies

Brew family collection being sold in Melbourne

Melbourne auction house E.J. Ainger Pty Ltd will auction the collection of the late Dr Peter Brew on site in Malvern on Saturday March 29. Included in the sale is a white marble statue of a young lady, by Antonio Frilli made and inscribed by the artist in 1881, on a verde marble pedestal, purchased for $58,000 from Bonhams and Goodman in Sydney.
By Richard Brewster on 24-Mar-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Keen collectors of art and other collectables, Dr Peter Brew and his wife Monica lived at 1269 High Street, Malvern for almost six decades.

They bought the turn of the 20th century house in 1959 and in it raised seven children. To some degree, Peter Brew followed in the collecting footsteps of his prominent ophthalmologist grandfather, Dr George Alexander Brew, who, among other items, obtained several prominent pieces that once belonged to Lord Kitchener and notes from Captain Cook’s diary.

Immortal panels at $US1.81 million shows the enduring power of brand Sotheby's

Australia's mineral trade with China may be faltering but the boom in choice Chinese art exports from Australia is very much alive and well as is the brand through which they were consigned, writes Terry Ingram. Sotheby's New York has sold sold for a seven figure sum, a set of four enamel panels consigned through the “unrelated” Sotheby's Australia.
By Terry Ingram on 20-Mar-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Australia's mineral trade with China may be faltering but the boom in choice Chinese art exports from is very much alive and well as is the brand through which they were consigned.

Sotheby's New York has sold sold for a seven figure sum, a set of four enamel panels consigned through the “unrelated” Sotheby's Australia.

Opulence links clock and old envelope sales with lots and lots of Louis

Three recent antique, decorative arts and philatelic auctions showed that interest in the most unlikely categories can produce satisfactory returns if estimates are adjusted to show that the goods are genuinely for sale. An opulent setting can also help. With bidders now accustomed to the delay occasioned by online bidding, auctioneers have the chance to slow the proceedings for this third player, the phalanx of unseen bidders on the Internet writes Terry Ingram
By Terry Ingram on 12-Mar-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

Three recent antique, decorative arts and philatelic auctions showed that interest in the most unlikely categories can produce satisfactory returns if estimates are adjusted to show that the goods are genuinely for sale. An opulent setting can also help. With bidders now accustomed to the delay occasioned by online bidding, auctioneers additonally have the chance to slow the proceedings for this third player, the phalanx of unseen bidders on the Internet.

Whale of a sale creates a big splash in the Australiana market.

The Caressa Crouch and Carl Gonsalves Collection of Australiana sold for $1.07 million or more than three times expectations at Mossgreen's rooms in Melbourne on February 22. Highest price was for an important early colonial cedar sideboard sold to a phone bidder for $122,000 including buyers premium against estimates of $20,000 to $30,000. A whalebone.chair (above) realised $34,160, more than three times the estimate of $10,000 to $15,000 but less than the $84,000 paid for it at Bonhams & Goodman in 2008.
By Terry Ingram on 24-Feb-2015 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)

The Caressa Crouch and Carl Gonsalves Collection of Australiana sold for $1.07 million or more than three times expectations at Mossgreen's rooms in Melbourne on February 22. The result was helped by strategically low estimates designed to sell, writes Terry Ingram.

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