Auction reflects Melbourne Spring racing scene

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 17th October, 2018

An historic sterling silver horse racing cup has been discovered among contents to be auctioned at a Brighton mansion in Melbourne.

The cup – commemorating the 1823 York Spring Meeting in England – was found among various other treasures at 9 St Ninians Road, Brighton as auctioneer Phil Caldwell and his team were busy cataloguing the items for sale.

The onsite auction will be held from 11am Sunday October 21. 

The auction is being held under instruction from teh Morris family with the father now in his mid-90s.

The family spent years frequenting local auction houses and, given her father’s advancing years, Julie has decided to rationalise the collection.

Phil Caldwell said York was one of the largest racecourses in England and the cup – which lists all the race winners on the day – weighs almost four kilograms.

“The cup was made in 1821 by a York silversmith (at a cost of 100 guineas) and is one of the biggest and heaviest I have ever seen,” he said. “The York racecourse has provided provenance for the cup and an 18213 race book listing the race winners.”

Another interesting find is a 1739 silver spirit kettle, which Caldwell says is a very early silver example.

“There also is a good selection of Royal Worcester porcelain and glassware,” he said.

The auction contains a range of quality Australian paintings including two by Sidney Nolan – Man in Rainbow, a large oil on board landscape, and Man Rowing Canoe from his New Guinea series.

Other works include a semi-nude woman by Norman Lindsay and a Hans Heysen painting, which the vendor has owned for 50 years and contains a letter from the artist about the painting written in 1933.

There are several fabulous clocks, fine French furniture (including marquetry and boulle), a burr walnut centre table, silk and gold thread rugs and fossilised dinosaur eggs.

Important is the one-metre tall Chinese Han Dynasty horse and glass vase, along with Egyptian, Greek and Roman museum pieces.

Watches and jewellery are included in the sale and, for car buffs, a 1973 Aston Martin V8.





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