Russian imperial family descendants send items to auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 15th March, 2016

Related to the Russian imperial family and with ancestors who came to Australia after the 1917 Russian revolution, the vendors have lived at “Sark” 32A Hopetoun Road, Toorak for more than 15 years and in the general area for much longer than that.

Now they have decided to downsize and have asked auctioneer Phil Caldwell to auction the contents of their property on site from 11am on Sunday March 20.

Many of the items in this auction are unlikely to be for sale again.

For example, a 1740s commode by cabinetmaker to French aristocracy of the time, Francois Fleurey, is, according to Caldwell, the earliest example he has ever seen.

“It is certainly rare to get genuine Louis XV commode at auction,” he said. 

Another item is a Boulle bracket clock made for a French chateau and signed by Martinot – clockmakers to Napoleon, Louis XIV and XV from 1640 to 1705.

One of the most important items is the best ever pair of George Owen Royal Worcester vases that have been in the same collection for almost 50 years.

According to Caldwell, the lidded vases 26.2 centimetres tall, comprise one of the most detailed shapes Owen ever made and carry auction estimates of $60,000 to $90,000.

The auction contains a collection of bronzes – the finest of which is a Demetre Chiparis bronze and ivory figure purchased in Paris – and several quality original sculptures not normally seen at auction.

There is an impressive classic dining room setting that features a banquet table and sideboard.

Other sale features include works by some of Australia’s leading artists, porcelain by other Royal Worcester artists like Harry Davis and Hawkins, and quality Sevres, Dresden and Royal Vienna pieces, rare.

Rare 19th century glass epergnes are another attraction along with Asian and Egyptian antiquities from the Han dynasty and Middle Kingdom about 1500BC. 

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