Claric Cliff mask hides auction treasures

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 24th March, 2015

The quaint Clarice Cliff mask, which features in Philips Auctions latest decorative arts sale, first came to public prominence in the Melbourne Herald of November 28, 1935.

The mask was mentioned in an article about Dr and Mrs Cecil Raphael’s new home high on the hill in Glenferrie Road, Glenferrie – and referred to because it was reflected in an immense circular mirror that hung on the wall above the living room fireplace. It had been sitting for about 30 years under a family member's bed before recently once again seeing the light of day.

While the mask will no doubt be the centre of much auction goer interest when viewing starts on Wednesday, the sale (from noon Sunday March 29 at 47 Glenferrie Road, Malvern) itself is notable for several interesting items.

One is a collection of sterling silver that includes a horseracing trophy of tankard and matching cups presented on October 13, 1859 to George Race Esq by the gentlemen of his hunt as a token of their esteem.

Another prominent piece is a Stuart Devlin parcel gilt sterling silver pot pourri bowl, while there are several George II, George III and Victorian items worthy of examination – including a Victorian sterling silver neoclassical style bread basket with a catalogue estimate of $4000-$5000.

Among the porcelain on offer are several First Period Dr Wall Worcester pieces dating from the 1760s, including a kidney shaped dessert dish and a scalloped plate, while a large Japanese Meiji period Satsuma vase should attract plenty of attention.

Eighteenth Dutch crystal is another auction feature – including a 1750-1760 Netherlandish “Cristallo” glass oil or vinegar bottle and a 1685-1700 northern Netherlands “Cristallo” serving bottle.

Among the art on offer are several Sidney Nolan lithographs and Australian and European paintings, while chandeliers and figure lamps are prominent, particularly a fine French art deco gilt bronze chandelier by Pettitot.

Furniture includes a French rosewood art deco buffet and an antique oak marriage or blanket chest.

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