Australian antique trade icons call it a day at auction
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 17th October, 2019
After more than 50 years icons of the Australian antiques trade, John and Barbara Wigg, have called it a day and are selling the entire contents of their New South Wales property through Christian McCann Auctions from noon Sunday October 27.
The onsite auction at 30 Andrews Avenue Kooringal, Wagga Wagga involves the entire contents and private collection of the family home (which also is for sale) including the most important 19th century mahogany sideboard (lot 58) to be offered at auction in recent memory, according to auctioneer Christian McCann.
“In 1970, John pioneered importing antiques (into Australia) and had what can only be described as an institutional antique shop of the times, selling everything from high end porcelain, lamps and furniture through to bullock drays and horse buggies, steam engines and horse drawn carriages,” he said.
For decades, both John and his wife Barbara were deeply involved in the Australian antique trade – renowned for selling only the finest quality 19th century antiques and exhibiting at all the exclusive antique fairs across Australia.
Their magnificent home provides the perfect setting for the McCann Auctions sale. Built with granite blocks fashioned by convicts and purchased from the Bendigo law courts, the house features a French cast iron spiral staircase overlooked by 19th century leadlight windows leading to a mahogany panelled loft that originally resided in an English accountancy firm.
Another memorable furniture piece is a five-leaf D-end extension dining table supported by six legs – along with a two-door bookcase from the Scottish law courts and an Anglo-Indian Padouk centre table.
The auction contains a fine collection of cast iron including a cherub decorated Coalbrookdale hallstand, hall and occasional tables, and a rare settee.
Unusual even for taxidermy enthusiasts is the moose head from the Germany consulate in Adelaide.
Australian and international art features such household names as D’Arcy Doyle, Pro Hart, Hugh Sawrey and Andris Janson.
English and European porcelain is another feature and includes Royal Worcester and Meissen pieces – while among the 19th century clock collection is a rare carved oak long case striking on gongs and marble and ormolu timepieces.
Garden lovers are not forgotten with fine statuary, pot plants and about 1200 bluestone blocks all part of the auction setup.