Classic mansion treasures grab buyers attention

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 24th January, 2018

Phillip Caldwell has once again grabbed buyer attention with his tradition for holding auctions in Melbourne’s grand old residences.

The forthcoming on site sale of the contents of “Cumnock” at 160 The Avenue, Parkville, from 11am Sunday January 28, is his latest effort and offers a range of quality collectable items.

Built about 1889 and designed by Charles Webb (famous for the Windsor Hotel and Royal Arcade among several other Melbourne landmarks), this classic mansion has been sold recently by Kaye Duffy – who is moving to a smaller residence and cannot take all of the contents with her.

The magnificent English and French antique furniture on offer particularly suits homes of the period and would add magnificent character to any late 19th or early 20th century lounge, dining, sitting room or library.

Pieces include a fabulous shaped leg and top solid mahogany banquet table and chairs, an eight-door library bookcase, refectory table, 18th century dresser and rare large Victorian wardrobes.

These are interspersed with a quality marquetry and ormolu commode, salon and Boulle cabinets, signed vitrines from Diehl (who was millet maker to royalty of the day including Napoleon and Queen Victoria) and a massive French ormolu mounted bureau plat.

Clock collectors will not be disappointed with an important Zacharie Raingo French ormolu and bronze chateau clock among the finds that include a grandfather timepiece and massive palace size French clock set.

Another European royalty favourite who also listed Napoleon among his clients, Raingo was born in 1775 in Belgium and became famous as a clockmaker for his planetary pendulums. In 1823, he became watchmaker-engineer to the Duke of Chartres, the future King Louis-Philippe.

Internationally famous porcelain is another important auction attraction with 18th century Sevres tete-a-tete boxed coffee set portraits of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette and courtesans of particular note.

The collection also contains other rare Sevres, a George Owen Royal Worcester vase, a massive Shuck potpourri, an oval panel by Harry Davis and early Chinese porcelain.

Some of the best French sculptors spring to mind with the bronze collection including Clodion, L. Sosson, Clesinger, Barbedienne, Bureau, Picault and P.J. Mene.

Museum quality Chinese antiquities are bound to excite with a Ming Dynasty glazed warhorse (believed to be the only one on the Australian auction market in the past 10 years) and a set of 12 extremely rare Tang Dynasty pottery zodiac figures the main attractions.

Other antiquities include a carved Chinese rhino horn cup, Han and Tang Dynasty pottery figures, carved ivory tusks and up to 2500-year-old Greek, Egyptian and Roman pieces.

Jewellery features impressive diamond and gold necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings – while among the gold watches is a superb Patek Phillipe, Cartier and early fob watch.

Works by many of Australia’s leading painters are on show including Arthur and David Boyd, Arthur Streeton, William Dobell, Cumbrae Stewart, S.T. Gill, John Perceval, Sidney Nolan, Pro Hart, Robert Dickerson, Norman Lindsay, Tim Storrier and Hugh Sawrey.


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