Once a successful jockey and then the former head of Dimplex Australia, Ken is now 97 and was keen to allow others to enjoy to savour the collecting joy that he and Gloria (now deceased) have felt over the years.
And collectors have not let him down with most of the 403 items offered over the two-day sale, which comprised both Royal Worcester plaques and vases by leading company artists and decorative lamps by such notables as Gabriel Argy-Rousseau (1885-1953), Emile Galle (1846-1904) and Amalric Walter (1870-1959) going under the hammer.
A fine two-handled 1910 signed Harry Davis Royal Worcester vase (Lot 39 ) was a lucky $16,000 purchase – while a mixed pair of 1907 covered vases by John Stinton and Davis (Lot 41 ) brought $15,000, both more than twice the catalogue estimate.
Another Harry Davis creation – this time a 1924 covered potpourri (Lot 64 ) – was knocked down for $13,000, and one of his 1925 dated plaques, featuring piglets at a feed trough (Lot 6 ), bringing $12,000.
Pigs are a rare Royal Worcester subject and Davis was the only artist allowed to paint them. Most of his surviving examples are dated the same year and, based on sketches he made during a single visit to a farm, show the same composition.
Lot 29, a 1926 porcelain plaque by John Stinton features highland cattle beside a Scottish highland valley loch, sold for $11,000.
Emile Galle featured with a cameo glass light (Lot 338 ), that brought $8000 – the same as a pair of 1919 John Stinton potpourri vases (Lot 44 ).
Other highlights included Argy-Rousseau’s ‘The Prairie’ night light (Lot 220 ) for $7000, a 1925 C. Johnson porcelain plaque (lot 12 - $6500) and Jan Hendrik Scheltema’s Droving Cattle in the Morning Light (lot 308 - $6000).