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By Richard Brewster on 09-Dec-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
A fine Japanese Meiji Period (1868-1912) okimono of a basket weaver (lot 107), while a colourful 20th century labradorite carving of a duck might make the perfect desk ornament. Or the historically fascinating is the 1582 Elizabeth I sterling silver communion cup (lot 194) in stunning condition – the most expensive of an otherwise very affordable silver section.
By Richard Brewster on 24-Nov-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
One of the items is an 18-carat gold pocket watch (lot 249) presented to the former Chief District Constable of Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) George Brown “as a token of respect and esteem on his leaving the colony”.
The following lot (250) is a beautiful suite of sterling silver items presented in 1840 to Captain Alured Tasker Faunce (1808-1856) by Queanbeyan and District inhabitants “in appreciation of his conduct as Police Magistrate”.
By Richard Brewster on 17-Nov-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
A large 1772 Scottish George III sterling silver hot water urn by Edinburgh silversmith Patrick Robinson (lot 344) is one of the leading items in Melbourne-based Gibson’s Auctions comprehensive two-part Spring sale from 11am Sunday November 27 and continuing the next day at 885-889 High Street, Armadale. With a catalogue estimate of $11,000-$13,000, this neoclassical covered urn features a fruiting finial above a sweeping fluted neck and body decorated with swags, rosettes and macarons.
By Richard Brewster on 09-Nov-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
A comprehensive mix of items appealed to auction goers at Melbourne-based Leski Auctions two-day decorative arts and collectables sale on November 5 and 6 led by a stunning pair of antique Chinese 17th century late Ming or early Qing Dynasty ceramic architectural panels with green and gold dragon decorations (lot 348) that sold for $14,500 on a $4500-$5500 catalogue estimate.
In second spot was a vintage Bengal tiger skin rug from the firm Vaningen & Vaningen in India’s Mysore city with an accompanying Commonwealth of Australia statutory declaration (lot 918) that was knocked down for $13,000.
By Richard Brewster on 15-Sep-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Gordon Cope-Williams took Sydney socialite Lady Storey as his second wife after her husband died and together they built a considerable collection of art and antique furniture. The catalogue cover (lot 48), a pair of fighting rabbits entitled "Valse au clair de lune" (Dancing in the Moonlight) 2007 by French sculptor Christian Maas which comes with a copy of his Catalogue Raisonne (Volume II: Sculptures 1987-2011), is a major drawcard in the collection.
By Richard Brewster on 16-Aug-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Chinese Communist Party founder Mao Zedong’s fourth wife Jiang Qing – a keen photographer – might have been tempted to make an ongoing commercial venture of her Chinese-made Red Flag cameras, produced in the 1970s in Shanghai, if she ever thought that one day they would become expensive collectors items.
Of course, these days they are so rare that Leski Auctions director Charles Leski has only seen one – and that sold for a hammer price and high catalogue estimate of $80,000 (lot 112) at his Melbourne-based auction on August 9 of the Michael family’s significant and world’s largest private museum collection of cameras.
By Richard Brewster on 04-Aug-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
A collection of early 20th century graphophones and phonographs are a highlight of Philips Auctions timed online Fine & Decorative Arts auction which ends from 12pm Monday August 8 at 47 Glenferrie Road, Malvern. At the same time the auction house is conducting a timed online Modern & Antique Jewellery sale with both high quality and affordable jewellery up for grabs.
By Richard Brewster on 02-Aug-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Michaels Cameras – forced to close last year because of the adverse economic impact COVID-19 has inflicted on Australia – is now selling its comprehensive camera collection through Leski Auctions from 6pm Tuesday August 9 at 727-729 High Street, Armadale. The premises, on the corner of Elizabeth and Lonsdale Streets, housed the world’s largest private camera museum containing more than 3000 items.
By Richard Brewster on 22-Jul-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
In a testimony to the popularity of quality Royal Worcester porcelain, seven of the top 10 items at Gibson’s Auctions July winter auction were part of the late June Harris collection from the famous English manufacturer.
By Richard Brewster on 28-Jun-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Born in Prussia, Prenzel, completed a four-year apprenticeship and studied at the Dusseldorf Academy before “carving” his way through Europe and arriving in Melbourne in November 1888. Here, he first worked for a shipbuilder and designed furniture for Nunan Bros. A partnership with Johann Treede as architectural modellers, designers and woodcarvers during the 1890s included such projects as the carvings on the ceilings and walls of St Patrick’s Cathedral. In the early 1900s, Prenzel began his own woodcarving business and from about 1910 to 1930 ran a furniture making operation in South Yarra.
By Richard Brewster on 21-Jun-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Following a protracted legal battle among family members, Australia’s biggest ever gold, silver and jewellery auction – featuring more than 10,000 items that belonged to gold merchant the late Peter Davis– will be held online each day from 10am Monday June 27 to Thursday June 30 through Melbourne-based Philips Auctions at 47 Glenferrie Road, Malvern.
Based in the Manchester Unity building in Collins Street, Peter – who died in 2017 aged 50 – ran a successful enterprise that incorporated many aspects of the jewellery business his great-grandfather William Davis established in 1880 on the same site.
By Richard Brewster on 19-Jun-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Pottery lovers will be delighted to see the late John Stephens collection hit the auction market when Melbourne-based Leski Auctions holds its two-day Australian & Historical sale from 10am Saturday June 25, continuing from 10am Sunday June 26, at 727-729 High Street, Armadale.
By Richard Brewster on 10-Jun-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Three items from Melbourne collector Andrée Harkness took top billing at Gibson’s Auctions Interiors | Private Collections sale on Sunday June 5 with another three featuring among the top 10 results.
By Richard Brewster on 01-Jun-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
If Décor Corporation Pty. Ltd. founder Brian Davis were still alive he would have been delighted with the sale results of his collection through Melbourne-based Leski Auctions on May 29. The top selling item was Frederick McCubbin’s (1855-1917) painting entitled Towards Richmond, from Kensington Road, South Yarra (lot 153) which changed hands for $59,750 including buyer’s premium.
By Richard Brewster on 24-May-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Creators are a special breed and the man who invented the Décor brand and brought world-class design, creativity and innovation to Australian homewares, the son of an English adventurer and grandson of a pearl fleet owner on his mother’s side, is no exception. This unusual mix produced Great Depression child Brian Middleton Davis who was born in May 1930 in Broome, Western Australia before the family moved to Melbourne where Brian enjoyed a happy childhood designing and building model boats and billycarts at their Brighton home.
By Richard Brewster on 04-May-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
The wife of Australian journalist, John Dunn, unfortunately, died on February 8 – five days short of her 90th birthday – and he is now moving into smaller premises. As a result, much of his wife Eileen’s collection of porcelain, scent bottles, period furniture and other quality collectables will be auctioned from 12pm Monday May 9 as part of Philips Auctions Fine & Decorative Arts online sale at 47 Glenferrie Road, Malvern.
By Richard Brewster on 31-Mar-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
Melbourne-based Leski Auctions estimated lot 610 – an attractive pair of Chinese ceramic peanut ornaments and 20th century Persian-style censer, part of its two-day Decorative Arts & Collectables March 26-27 sale – at only $120-$200.
The final price could only be regarded as an auctioneer’s masterstroke as spirited bidding saw the items sell for $50,190 including the buyer’s premium.
By Richard Brewster on 29-Mar-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
The comparatively modern blended with furniture several hundreds of years old to comprise the top 10 sale items at Melbourne-based Gibson’s Auctions Autumn Auction Series on Sunday March 27. On one hand, there was Austro-Hungarian furniture designer and cabinetmaker Schulim Krimper’s (1893-1971) circa 1954 blackbean dining suite(lot 167) holding centre stage with a $17,080 (including buyer’s premium) result – while on the other a circa 1760 George III oak dresser (lot 151) brought $7930.
By Richard Brewster on 23-Mar-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
When long-time Malvern resident Margaret Watson turned 100, she invited all her neighbours to visit while she sat on the porch and talked.
Margaret often came to Philips Auctions at 47 Glenferrie Road, Malvern to buy a favourite item. As it turned out, she also lived in company director Tony Philips street so was delighted when he accepted her invitation to visit for such a special milestone.
Her house was full of magnificent treasures – the pinnacle being a massive library bookcase known as “The Monster” (lot 388) which had been built to grace the offices of Lancashire Insurance Company, established in 1862 in Melbourne’s Collins Street.
By Richard Brewster on 23-Mar-2022 (Exclusive to the Antiques Reporter)
A circa 1780 continental walnut map table (lot 157) – used as part of the interior setting of Villa Albergoni in Lombardy for the 2017 Italian film “Call Me by your Name” based on the book of the same name by Andre Aciman – is a major highlight of Melbourne-based Gibson’s Auctions Autumn Auction Series from 10am on Sunday March 27 with a $20,000-$30,000 catalogue estimate. A late 19th century Persian Zeigler rug (lot 180) carries a similar estimate, but one of the great attractions is that several auction items were made by Austro-Hungarian furniture designer and cabinetmaker Schulim Krimper (1893-1971) who emigrated to Australia in 1939.