A passionate collector walks his treasures to auction
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 1st March, 2014
Mike Stoll has been passionate about antiques and art ever since he was a young man – and at various stages of his life he has even made a living from it.
However, he is not your typical antiques and art dealer and, in his early working life in particular, had a somewhat chequered career.
Born in London in 1950, Mike came to Australia aged two – before returning to his home country 14 years later after his mother was tragically killed in a car accident.
After leaving school he tried his hand as a travel courier in France and Spain, then became a casino croupier in South Africa and door-to-door salesman.
At university (studying industrial relations and psychology), Mike bought an antique shop in Hampstead, which he later sold when he enrolled in postgraduate studies at the University of Wales in Cardiff – where he also was a part-time policeman.
Returning to Australia in 1976, Mike joined the Ford Motor Company and Massey Ferguson before becoming HR manager at Price Waterhouse three years later.
In 1982, he established his own management consultancy and training business The Management Edge, which became a registered training organisation (with outlets in Bangladesh and India) bringing overseas students to Australia.
Mike’s initial interest in antiques had begun with apprentice piece clocks – usually miniatures made by apprentices before they were allowed to practise on their own – and, not long after establishing his own consultancy firm, he and his father-in-law opened a picture framing business Frames ‘n’ Things in Camberwell.
This came about because he had earlier worked with Brian Roberts (Channel 7 Sandy Roberts brother) at Impressions Gallery and later Signed Editions in High Street, Armadale where he had been responsible for making all the picture frames.
The picture framing business was sold in the late 1990s – but by that stage Mike and his wife Pat had begun collecting art.
Now they have decided to de-clutter their home and, living around the corner from Amanda Addams Auctions rooms at 344 High Street Kew, are busy walking furniture, collectibles and art they no longer wish to keep to the premises for the next auction from 6.30pm on March 3.
Some of Mike’s paintings in the auction have an interesting story. One is Wheel of Life by George Baldessin – tipped by many to be the next Brett Whiteley until tragically killed in 1978 in a car accident on his way home from an art exhibition.
Another is Charles Blackman’s painting of the front cover of Australian novelist Frank Hardy’s But The Dead Are Many, given to Mike in lieu of a debt.
Mike Stoll also picked up an antique cedar and pine display cabinet from Balls Corner Store corner Glenferrie Rd and Station St Malvern - used from 1890's until store closed in the late 1970s.