Ancient Chinese figures, sterling silver and French sculptor to bring auction crowds
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 13th April, 2016
The owner has lived in the same house at 15 Edwin Street, Templestowe for more than 40 years and in that time built up an extensive collection of antique furniture, paintings and collectables.
He has now moved overseas and asked Kim’s Auctions to auction the contents of the home.
The auction, which will be held on site from 11am Sunday April 17, features Chinese terra cotta figures from the Tan Dynasty (618-906AD) including a lady and a horse.
A highlight is a sterling silver gilt garniture set of five bowls dating from 1857 to 1907 – the largest a jardinière – presented by the children to newspaper proprietor Sir James (1834-1919) and Lady Fairfax for their golden wedding anniversary.
Another attraction is the pair of Rococo revival style 1904-5 sterling silver Edwardian candelabras (also originally from the Fairfax family).
Auction goers should also be intrigued by the Claude Michel dit Clodion (1738-1814) relief panel hanging in the entrance hall.
One of the most inventive and versatile French sculptors of the latter half of the 18th century, Claude Michel was the 10th child of Thomas Michel and Anne Adam.
His maternal uncles were the famous sculptors Lambert Sigisbert, Nicolas-Sébastien and François-Gaspard Adam - and he started training with the former in Paris before the spring of 1756.
Sigisbert had spent nine years in Rome where antique sculpture and Roman Baroque art (particularly Bernini) were major influences. Clodion absorbed these influences, which would mark the rest of his career.
In Italy from 1762 to 1771, Clodion studied major antique sculpture collections before returning to Paris in the spring of that year, where two years later he was accepted as a candidate for membership in the Académie Royale (although he never became an actual member) and exhibited at the Salon for the first time.
In 1772-3, he was commissioned to complete two large funerary monuments and several sculptures for Rouen Cathedral.
From 1776 to the French Revolution, Clodion collaborated successfully with architect Alexandre-Theodore Brogniart who designed several luxurious new houses and interiors in Paris.
Clodion created decorative reliefs, vases and sculptures for these projects – however, among their most successful was the Salle de Bains (Musée de Louvre, Paris) of the Hotel de Besenval.
His only major royal commission was the seated figure of Montesquieu in the Louvre, one of a series of Famous Men meant to decorate the Grande Galerie.
The auction contains paintings by major Australian artists including Sidney Nolan, Pro Hart, David Boyd, Charles Blackman, Robert Dickerson, Arthur Boyd, John Olsen, David Bromley, Norman Lindsay, Hans Heysen, Hugh Sawrey, J.A. Turner, J.H. Scheltema and Walter Withers.
There also are major museum quality Ming and Qing Dynasty ink and watercolours on silk in gilt frames.
Porcelain and glass pieces feature Royal Worcester, Moorcroft, Sevres, Royal Doulton, Mary Gregory, Lalique and Satsuma.
Furniture items include a 19th century ebony and ormolu mounted credenza with Sevres panel doors, a Louis XVI bow fronted ormolu mounted single door vitrine and a Regency inlaid mahogany corner cabinet.
Other features include a terrestrial floor globe, Napoleon III wall mirror, William IV sewing table, grandfather clock, marble topped ladies writing desk and range of jewellery.