Lockdown release leads to versatile Australian auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 27th October, 2021

The brakes are off for Leski Auctions as they emerge from Melbourne’s sixth COVID-19 lockdown – that resulted in the city achieving the unenviable record of “world lockdown capital” with a total of 263 days of restrictions – as they head towards an international Decorative Arts & Collectables sale from 10am each day on Saturday November 6 and Sunday November 7 at 727-729 High Street, Armadale.

More than 1500 lots are on offer – covering a broad range of categories from silver, porcelain, ceramics and glassware to Chinese and Asian art, furniture, lamps, rugs, clocks, jewellery and paintings. Other categories include antiquities, tribal artefacts, musical instruments, cameras, tools, radios and military memorabilia.

One of the silver highlights is an antique Burmese betel leaf box (lot 6) and another a spectacular Chinese bowl with dragon handles (lot 14).

The ceramics and porcelain section is particularly strong with a Moorcroft Pansy pattern ewer (lot 125) and a Hawaiian lady by Italian studio Ronzan (lot 132) typical of the quality.

No doubt, art glass collectors will be anxious to see the comprehensive range (lots 176-304) with delicate Georgian wine glasses (lots 176 and 177) of great appeal, along with a Baccarat French crystal ice bucket (lot 208).

Torso sculptures are another attraction (lots 234 and 235 by Dino Rosin) and Italian artist Alfredo Barbini is represented with his glass cylindrical vase (lot 244).

Other artists include Alberto Dona with his Canne and spiralli yellow cased Murano glass vase (lot 269) showing a different approach to colour, form and technique – while the creations of Afro Celotto are on display in lots 277 and 278.

Dorothea Charol’s art deco statue of a lady (lot 352) in bronze and carved ivory is another day one highlight and two superb porcelain vases (lots 436 and 437) are marvellous examples of Chinese and other Asian artworks in the auction.

Also attracting plenty of notice are tall wooden and bronze statues of Guanyin, Iuohans and Buddha (lots 543-548) from the collection of Judith Heaven and her late husband Barrie.

Furniture offerings are exemplified by Gillows of Lancaster ( lots 655 and 656) –  a beautiful burr walnut davenport and a walnut hallstand that was originally displayed in the company’s store in Oxford Street, London.

Clocks and timepieces launch the second day of the auction with particular emphasis on a longcase example by Robert Smith of Upper Shadwell, London (lot 787) and a modern Georgian-style longcase with a fine mahogany case (lot 814).

Among the art are works by James Audobon – North America’s answer to John Gould – with lots 909 and 910 depicting the birdlife of that continent. Created in 1837, both were purchased in 1850 directly from the artist by the City of New York.

A painting entitled Calon Penya (The Dream of Becoming a Singer) – lot 953 – by Indonesian artist Jeihan Sukmantro (1938-2019) is another fine example of the art on offer.

Victoria’s Western District features in the sale through a private collection of tribal artefacts (lots 977-1026) mainly from Papua New Guinea, while the Hillcoat collection (lots 1027-1087) extends these tribal offerings. Of particular note are lots 1025 and 1048.

Other items of interest include an early automotive picnic set (lot 1210) by Edwards & Sons of Regent Street, London and a Sanyo advertisement for vacuum cleaners being used by an excited bikini-clad “housewife” (lot 1239) – along with a fully fitted 19th century pattern makers tool chest (lot 1281).

Unusual and a fine example of artistry sometimes encountered in arms and armaments is the English blunderbuss (lot 1335) and Omani dagger (lot 1339).

Book lovers and collectors will be impressed with the four first editions of Ian Fleming’s books (lot 1399) – given that the latest James Bond movie “No time to Die” is about to hit Australian cinema screens.

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