Graham Geddes collection to go under hammer

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 18th March, 2015

One of Melbourne’s leading antiques traders Graham Geddes is about to see the premises from which he has operated for the past 40 years demolished to make way for a residential development.

Since 1972, the sprawling building at 877 High Street, Armadale has been the haven for many of the finest antiques and collectables ever seen in Melbourne.

As a result of the impending closure, Leonard Joel – in association with Dreweatts & Bloomsbury in London – will auction on site the entire Geddes stock over two days from 11am Saturday March 21 and Sunday March 22.

In the years since he began operating, Geddes has developed the business to encompass three palatial shopfronts with adjoining galleries and workshops.

This has housed a vast inventory renowned for its encyclopaedic catalogue of styles – spanning Asian and European antiquities through to early European and English furniture.

The international stature of the collection is well illustrated by The Mentmore Towers side table, lot 230 estimated at $70,000-$100,000.

An exquisite example of Florentine Baroque-inspired giltwood furniture, the table is one of a pair that formed part of the original furnishings of the stately English country manor of the same name in Buckinghamshire – and dispersed in a series of historic auctions from May 18-27, 1977.

Geddes also owned the companion piece, sold several years ago to a Melbourne collector.

There are many other quality furniture pieces in the auction including an 18th century Dutch coromandel side cabinet, a Louis XV style gilt metal mounted kingwood bureau plat, French painted and giltwood framed three-panel screen and a superb late 18th century Italian giltwood pier mirror.

A substantial pair of sculpted white marble figure groups depicting Putti astride sphinxes, after Jacques Sazari and a Chinese carved wooden figure of Guanyin from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) are also bound to whet collector appetites – along with a pair of patinated bronze Egyptian architectural figures.

A large Aubusson Verdure woven wall tapestry and French tapestry depicting a romantic scene are other items to intrigue, while a pair of Burmese painted composite tigers should attract plenty of attention.

For Asian devotees, a Chinese carved, painted and lacquered 12-panel screen should be a great buy. Among the pottery is a Chinese Sichuan pottery horse from the Han dynasty (206BC-220AD).

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