AUSTRALIAN & HISTORICAL

Live Auction

Sat 27th Nov 2021

Time: 11:00am

Contents
Saturday 27th November 11am AEDT
Session One
001-038  Scrimshaw and Maritime
039-058  Convicts and Historic
059-072  Goldfields
073-177   Jewellery
178-224  Silver
225-342  Pottery
343-507  General
508-528  Glass
529-680  Furniture

Session Two
Sunday 28th November 11am AEDT
681-734   Military
735-751    Maps
752-756   Railways & Trams
757-784   Postcards
785-813   Photographs
814-904   Books & Historical Documents
905-925   Posters
926-936   Fine and Rare Wine
937-1332  Paintings & Artworks

We hope you enjoy our latest Australian & Historical auction. With so much to look at and read about in the coming pages, we thought we would take a few minutes to point out some of our favourites as well as some of the more unusual items:

The first lot in sale, a pair of antique scrimshaw whale’s teeth, illustrates this perfectly. We rarely see a genuine pair like this, clearly by the same hand and depicting related images which have managed to stay together for more than 150 years! While sailors and whalers were busy creating these small masterpieces, elsewhere in the young colony, convicts were labouring and suffering for their “crimes” and Lot 41 (a four man ganging chain with handcuffs) is a rare reminder of the years of Transportation and harsh punishment.

The catalogue moves into the excitement of the Gold Rush and the boom in population and commerce that followed. Lot 61 is an exceptional archive of Victorian gold mining documents, share certificates and letters. We thought of breaking it up but felt it would tell a more complete story if kept intact. The magnificent “Malcolm” brooch (Lot 77) tells the story from a Western Australian perspective; what a lot of history is embodied in that one piece! Lot 97 (a delightful gold and pearl necklace) couldn’t be a lovelier evocation of the way gold was worn by the ladies of the 19th century and Lot 167, another use of gold, raises the question of what became of young Violet Kent, the dux of Brunswick College in 1922.

Objects of beauty created in silver were also very much in demand as demonstrations of wealth and status, especially those created by the handful of talented European immigrants who found their way to the Australian Colonies. Lot 178an impressive coffee pot by Henry Steiner and Lot 180, a stunning silver-mounted claret jug by William Edwards, are superb examples of such pieces. Lot 244A, a magnificent pottery vase by Margaret Kerr and Lot 245, an equally stunning pottery vase from the Remued Studio, catapults us firmly into the creativity of the 20th Century and demonstrate the quality and diversity of the fine selection of Australian pottery we are able to offer collectors on this occasion.

Our “General” section (Lots 343 – 507) is a veritable cabinet of curiosities, surprises and delights. We particularly like Lot 343, a workbox by Richard Dowling, Lot 351, an 1866-67 Melbourne Exhibition plaque presented to Melbourne Lord Mayor, J.T. SmithLot 355, a magnificent example of the elusive and important “Hobart Town” plateLot 386 a rare kookaburra statue by the carver Rudolf Prenzel and Lot 394, a stunning Arts & Crafts Australian grandfather clock.

The Furniture section is particularly exciting. Some of our favourites are Lot 535, a huon pine chest of seven drawers of Tasmanian originLot 537, a fine cedar and birdseye huon pine two door chiffonier, also of Tasmanian origin, and Lot 550, a superb Colonial library bookcase, of full cedar construction and veneer in fine cuts of figured cedar with Lenehan’s typical moulded pediment and cross banded plinth. A truly magnificent piece which we have enjoyed having in our rooms. An unusual inclusion in this section is Lot 629a group of original full page illustrations of furnished rooms prepared for Tye & Co advertisements by Edwin Slater around 1900.

The Military memorabilia section has many highlights. Of particular note are Lot 690, a campaign trunk used by General Birdwood during the First World War, and Lot 701possibly the most important WW1 item we have ever offered, a commemorative dinner menu signed by nineteen World War One Victoria Cross winners who were in attendance at a dinner at the Australia Hotel, Sydney on Armistice Day, 11th November 1919. We have identified all the signatories (including political dignitaries present for the dinner) and provided a short biographical note about all of them. We trust that you will agree that the three pages we have devoted to the description of this item are justified by its importance.

The postersLots 755 and 756, from the Victorian Railways “Men of Service” seriescreated in the late 1940s by Harold Freedman, are in superb condition but are also the two images that are most rarely seen. We are delighted to be able to offer you both in one auction. So too, the complete collection of postcards featuring the artwork of J.A.TurnerLot 775. There are some other terrific lots in the postcard section, (Lots 757 to 784) and the Early Photography section is especially enhanced by the collection of original albumen prints making up lot 789, images recording the declaration of British New Guinea in 1884.

Among the books and ephemeral items we particularly like Lot 830, a fascinating letter and hand-drawn map regarding early exploration in the Northern Territory and Lot 834, a superb example of “New Zealand Ferns” assembled by Eric Craig, circa 1880. Three exceptionally rare Australian posters are included in the Poster section – two by Gert Sellheim (Lots 911 and 913) and one by Percy Trompf (Lot 912). Like the “Men of Service” posters mentioned earlier and from the same consignment, these are in superb condition.

The Art section of this catalogue, (Lots 937 – 1332), at nearly 400 items, is probably the largest we have ever offered. And there are numerous highlights: Lot 962 (Costantini), Lot 1010 (a lovely watercolour attributed to Arthur Streeton), Lot 1011 (a beautiful oil painting by Nora Gurdon), Lot 1031 (a rare pen and ink piece by Ruby Lindsay), Lot 1036 (a powerful image of wild horses by Jan Scheltema), Lot 1055 (a luminous woodcut by Thea Proctor), Lot 1070 (a beautiful floral still life by Allan Bernaldo) are also some of our favourites.

The absolute highlight of the Art section is Lot 1076“Landscape with Poddy” painted by Arthur Boyd in 1948 and directly related to the Wimmera landscape we recently sold as part of the “Dendron House” single owner auction. The present painting has been exhibited at various times in Arthur Boyd Retrospectives in nearly every State Gallery as well as in the Australian National Gallery in Canberra. We are honoured to have been entrusted with this important work.

Other pieces worth mentioning are Lot 1092, a small watercolour by a very young Brett WhiteleyLot 1149, a superb example of the enamel on metal work of Bernard Hesling, Lot 1262, a scarce lithograph by Sydney Nolan from his Kelly series, and Lot 1291, a large and happy oil painting by David Bromley. Finally, as a result of two estates coming to market at the same time, we have a wonderful range of works by Australian Indigenous artists. The interplay of colours, textures, story telling and mystical history embodied in these works adds so much to the display in our rooms. We particularly like Lot 1313 (a work on bark by DIDJBAKU NAROLDOL DIRDI), Lot 1316 (a stunning work by BILLY STOCKMAN TJAPALJARRI) and Lot 1322 (a work on linen by LILY KAREDADA) which features on our inside front cover.

It’s hard to imagine a more diverse and interesting catalogue. We look forward to sharing it with you during the viewing days and over the weekend of the auction. And, of course, if you have a collection or a single item you would like us to include in our next Australian & Historical Catalogue, please be in touch soon.