Live Auction

Sun 24th Mar 2024

Time: 10:00am


001-202 Silver
203-314 Jewellery
315-569 Pottery
570-583 Glass
584-629 General
630-665 Furniture
666-745 Paintings & Other Artworks
746-801 Porcelain & Ceramics

My parents, Michael and Valerie Gregg, had a shared passion for collecting that spanned a multitude of countries, genres, time periods and styles. Their collections included antique silver, furniture and ceramics, artisan and traditional jewellery, traditional weaving, indigenous art and wood carving, millinery, quilting, books, coins, stamps and occasionally, other objects that they found irresistible.

Their knowledge and judgement were astute, honed over 65 years of researching, learning and fostering their passion for collecting the artefacts that engaged them – both antique and modern. They also received so much joy from their connections with other like-minded dealers, gallery owners, sculptors, artists and creatives who were also passionate about preserving and sharing items of historical or creative significance. Our family home could be likened to a museum and an archaeological dig site as literally each step would uncover something rare and unique.

While I can’t write with any expertise about their collections, I can endeavour to give you a glimpse of them as people. Both my parents were born in the 1930’s, but on opposite sides of the world.

Mum was born in 1934 in Wagga Wagga, the eldest of three children. She excelled at school and was heading towards becoming a teacher but got bored waiting for teachers college to start, and instead, decided to do nursing, where she could begin straight away at Wagga Base Hospital.

This career took her all over the world and she spent five years on a working holiday, travelling through Europe and North America, basing herself in London during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. She shared memories with us about nursing the Dalai Llama’s mother in London, and taking up a midwifery post in Canada on a First Nations reservation. One of her favourite stories was to recount her experiences while travelling through Ireland on a horse drawn gypsy caravan.

My father was born in 1936 in Guernsey in the Channel Islands. His family left Guernsey before the war broke out, which ended up being a very fortuitous move as Guernsey was occupied by the German’s during WW2. After a short stint in the merchant navy in the late 1950s, he travelled to Australia as a 21 year old, becoming a pommy jackaroo on a remote cattle station in Brewarrina, in northern New South Wales

It was there, in that remote outback town with a population of around 1,000 people, that my mum and dad met. They married in 1968, after moving to Cremorne, a harbourside suburb of Sydney that Mum had discovered through her volunteer work with cerebral palsy Girl Guides at Mosman. They had found a well located, beautiful historic sandstone cottage and with the help of a friendly bank manager they were able to purchase their first home and what turned out to be a great asset. This quality of astute investment acumen combined with an eye for beauty and history is definitely something that is woven through my parent’s life and their collections.

With the purchase of this historic cottage my parents went about furnishing it with antique furniture, fuelling their love for English and, eventually, Australian antique furniture.

I was born a year later, in 1969, and famously, my first destination out of Royal North Shore Hospital was the Lyndsay Antique Fair; mum and dad were definitely not going to miss out on that! This event continued to be something they visited annually, a regular opportunity for them to catch up with dealer friends and experts and build their growing collections. My brother Andrew came along in 1971, but sadly, our family experienced a devastating loss when he died through suicide in 2007. While this was a difficult time for them, I know that my parents’ connection to the antique and arts community in Sydney, and their love of art and antiques and passion for collecting, helped to sustain them during this hard time.

It was natural for dad, as a Guernsey man, to focus his collecting on British and Channel Islands silver. Over decades, he has built up one of the most extensive Channel Islands silver collections in private hands, with a bias towards the work of Guernsey silversmiths. He also enjoyed collecting Antique English ceramics and porcelain. He was the president of the Ceramic Collectors Society and they are still both Patrons of this society and lifetime members of the Australiana Society.

Mum’s focus broadened and began to move towards collecting Australian furniture, ceramics, jewellery and pottery. She and my father felt great respect for our Australian First Nation people and mum demonstrated her respect of this traditional earth honouring culture through her collections and connections to indigenous artists, supporting them and galleries such as Cooee, who showcased and dealt fairly with many indigenous artists and craftspeople. She also focussed heavily on Australian potters and was passionate in supporting emerging ceramicists. It was not unusual for my parents to attend numerous exhibitions each week. They wanted to support and encourage the work of up-and-coming creatives, as well as more established craftspeople, and enjoyed purchasing items to add to their extensive collections.  They delighted in the creative jumble they lived in, with diverse colours, shapes, eras and materials to be seen in every direction. Definitely not for everyone, but for my mum and dad, a wonderful record of a passionate collecting life.

I am delighted that Leski Auctions agreed to take on the mammoth task of cataloguing and organising these collections. Thank you also to Allan Landis, a dear respected friend of my mother and father, for wisely setting up this connection, as their life’s work is certainly deserving of the great care and respect that the Leski team have demonstrated. As these objects of beauty now begin their journey to new custodians, I hope those of you who purchase something from their collections receive as much joy from them as my parents did.

Louise Kissane,
Sydney, February 2024

Featured Lots

Lot 1

ALEXANDER DICK Colonial Australian silver christening mug, with engraved circular banding to the body, a round barbed handle, sitting on a collet foot base, with engraved monogram "E.C.", circa 1835, stamped "A.D.", 8.5cm high, 222 grams.

Est: $6,000 - $10,000
Price Realised including BP: $14,340

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Lot 3

ALEXANDER DICK rare Colonial Australian fiddle pattern soup ladle with engraved monogram, circa 1830s, stamped "A.D." with lion passant, crowned leopard's head, E and monarch's head, 35cm long, 322 grams.

Est: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realised including BP: $13,145

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Lot 73

A 17th century CHANNEL ISLANDS silver wine cup by ABRAHAM HEBERT of Jersey, circa 1688, engraved "E.M.G." and "S.E.T." on reverse. With Hebert's marks, "A.H." and fleur-de-lys in separate punches. 13cm high, 214 grams

Est: $6,000 - $10,000
Price Realised including BP: $28,680

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Lot 74

EDOUARD GAVEY important George III CHANNEL ISLANDS silver coffee pot, made for MARY MAUGER, circa 1775, with Edouard Gavey's mark to base, plus engraved monogram and inscribed on the base "Mary Mauger", with later 19th century crest added to reverse.

Est: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realised including BP: $21,510

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Lot 79

GUILLAUME HENRY George I rare CHANNEL ISLANDS silver bullet teapot with engraved decoration and deer crest, circa 1730, 12cm high, 22cm wide, 420 grams including handle

Est: $6,000 - $10,000
Price Realised including BP: $14,340

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Lot 204

DONOVAN & OVERLAND (attributed), "W.G.U.E.A." rare Western Australian goldfields brooch, 19th/20th, stamped "18ct", (Reference pp.42, 155 & 176 Australian Jewellery, 19th & 20th Century, Anne Schofield, Kevin Fahy), 4.5cm wide, 4.9 grams

Est: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realised including BP: $14,340

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Lot 391

BRETT WHITELEY hand-painted pottery vase thrown by DEREK SMITH, impressed mark "Derek Smith, Blackfriars Pottery", 24cm high

Est: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realised including BP: $33,460

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Lot 630

A superb antique Colonial Australian four tier wotnot, crafted from solid slabs of birdseye huon pine, Tasmanian origin, mid 19th century, 103cm high, 53cm wide, 36cm deep

Est: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realised including BP: $22,705

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Lot 702

CRESSIDA CAMPBELL (1960 - ), Interior with Daffodils, 2010, unique woodblock (watercolour on incised plywood), signed lower left "Cressida Campbell", Rex Irwin Art Dealer label verso with exhibition details, 50 x 33cm, 42 x 26cm overall

Est: 40,000 - $60,000
Price Realised including BP: $62,140

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Lot 729

NICHOLAS HARDING (1956-2022), Two Estuary Figures, 2011, oil on canvas, signed and titled verso, 20 x 25cm, 23 x 28cm overall

Est: $200 - $300
Price Realised including BP: $16,730

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