Hungarian collection hits Australian auction market
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 11th November, 2019
The estate of a North Caulfield-based Jewish-Hungarian collector, who escaped Nazi German clutches during World War II then managed to migrate with her family to Australia before the Russian invasion of 1956, will be auctioned from noon on Sunday November 17 by Christian McCann Auctions.
The onsite sale, at 51 Rosemount Avenue North Caulfield, features the rare and untouched collection of the late Agi Gold – who returned to Budapest following the Holocaust and liberation, only to have to flee once more when Russian occupation of the country was imminent.
Despite leaving Hungary, her connections with the antique and fine arts industry remained strong and in the late 1960s Agi was able to make regular trips to Budapest where she could hand pick items to ship back to Australia.
Agi was a self-proclaimed interior decorator and her North Caulfield home reflected the grand European interiors she had always so much admired.
The auction is a true indication of her taste – evident in the fine French and European furniture she collected and in the art and 19th century porcelain she so much admired.
The French and European furniture includes a large carved suite featuring a bookcase, desk and cabinets.
Typical of the offerings is lot 47 – an outstanding 19th century French kingwood drop front bureau plat with fully fitted interior, parquetry inlay and ormolu mounts.
Nineteenth century French timepieces are another drawcard with an almost one-metre high bronze and gilt garniture (lot 24) the standout lot among the salon clocks, clock sets and carriage examples on offer.
The finest 19th century European porcelain is a highlight of Agi’s collection with a large collection of Hungarian Herend pieces of particular note – along with ormolu mounted French Sevres, Meissen and Dresden items.
Lot 66 – a hand painted porcelain villager in traditional smoking a pipe – is a great example of the Herend collection to be auctioned.
There is a superb collection of finely woven carpets and outstanding Italian Verona crystal chandeliers (lot 165) that will no doubt be of great interest to auction goers.
European and Australian art by well-known artists should entice collectors with names like Pontino, Bertolino, Di Maio and Emilion siting comfortably alongside Australian greats such as Russell Drysdale, Hans Heysen, William Dobell, Ray Crooke, Dora Wilson, Robert Dickerson, Norman Lindsay, David Boyd and John Coburn (lots 16, 38 and 134).
Additional attractions include bronze figures and figure groups (lot 51 is typical), garden statuary and kitchen items.