Gibson's fronts Melbourne auction scene with single owner collection

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 7th August, 2018

New Melbourne auction house Gibson’s Auctioneers & Valuers has picked up the collection of the late Dr Robert Wilson for its inaugural auction from 11am Sunday August 12 at Level 1, 885-889 High Street, Armadale.

Born in 1945 in Camberwell, Wilson (who died last year) studied science at the University of Melbourne before completing a doctorate in theoretical physics at Monash University in 1972.

After a stint as 3MBSFM’s general manager and time spent with then Victorian Minster for the Arts Race Mathews, he joined the National Gallery of Victoria’s staff.

Wilson was a passionate supporter of decorative arts, and is acknowledged as one of the most significant benefactors to the NGV’s decorative arts department.

For many years, he steadily gifted the gallery works from his remarkable collection of 19th century ceramics and glass, including Minton and Thomas Webb.

However, a significant portion remains to be auctioned including Worcester, Copeland, Bumantofts, Doulton and Minton.

There also is fine art and a world class collection of great exhibition and exposition pieces.  

One of the main auction features is a pair of late 19th century Minton pate-sur-pate bleu celeste ground vases.

Another is a rare late 19th century hand painted Minton cabinet plate featuring a scene from Tasmania’s capital Hobart.

A circa 1870 pair of Minton painted and gilt bleu celeste ground two handled pilgrim bottles attributed to William Mussill is another strong attraction for collectors, while a large circa 1910 Bernard Moore red glazed studio pottery vase is not to be missed.

Other attractions include Yvonne Audette’s Birds in Landscape (Abstract) 1989 and a Grand Prize Medal from the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St Louis, designed by Adolph A. Weinman.

This is accompanied by an unengraved Exposition Universelle Internationale bronze plaque by Louis-Alexandre Bottee (1852-1940) from the same exposition, which on the obverse depicts a winged angel guiding a boat towards St Louis bearing a female figure representing the French Republic.

For book collectors, the “Exposition  Universelle de 1867 a Paris. Rapports du Jury International” Volumes 1-13 by Chevalier, Michel (Paris 1868) should attract plenty of interest.

Gibson’s is one of three new Melbourne auction houses to be established following the unfortunate demise of Mossgreen.

Founder Jenny Gibson has spent the past 10 years as head of decorative arts and senior auctioneer respectively at Sotheby’s, Bonhams and Mossgreen.

Her expertise includes English, Australian and Continental furniture, ceramics, glass, sculpture and silver, coupled with a keen interest in Chinese and Asian art works.

Some of Gibson’s more memorable valuations include the Werribee mansion collection, and those of Peter Elliot and Dennis Joachim.

Sales include the historically important 1867 Melbourne Cup in 2011 and the Peter McLean sideboard which sold for a record $600,000.


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