Toorak mansion shows off its auction treasures

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 23rd March, 2017

A French-style Toorak mansion is the setting for auctioneer Phil Caldwell’s latest on site auction featuring strong collector attractions including rare 17th and 18th century tapestries, early Dutch and Flemish oak and elm furniture and Royal Worcester porcelain.

Belonging to a Dutch couple who have recently sold and are moving to a modern home, the auction at 3 Russell Street from 11am on Sunday March 26 is a haven of treasures for any discerning buyer.

One of the tapestries is a hand worked Flemish masterpiece from about 1730 depicting children playing in a chateau garden.

Matching this tapestry for rarity and age is an early 18th century Dutch solid oak dresser rarely seen on the Australian auction market.

A 1770 Dutch walnut grandfather clock is another worthwhile and rare collector piece. Complete with silver dial, gilded and ormolu decoration, the clock has a moon phase, day date and month twin train.

Auction goers also should be interested in several top quality signed French cabinets including a mid-19th century bureau by Charles Diehl, one of France’s finest cabinetmakers who made pieces for Europe’s aristocracy of the time. His Paris address is engraved on the lock. 

Another exquisite French furniture piece is the exhibition cabinet signed Lexcellent (1860-1923) – also maker to the French aristocracy.

Intriguing is the rare games table Toupe Royale, also known as Toupe Hollandis. This was a gambling game played by the king in 17th century Holland where a heavy brass top is spun to knock down skittles.

Porcelain collectors will be in their element. Firstly, there is one of the rarest pairs of Charles Baldwyn Royal Worcester vases ever made, featuring powder puff pigeons on a blue background.

And then there is the signed George Owen’s exhibition pierced cabinet cup and saucer, which, according to Caldwell, is the finest he has seen.

Other major porcelain works include a 19th century exhibition palace-size Sevres lidded vase on its original brass base and featuring castle scenes in a rural landscape.

Early Dutch oil paintings and works by leading Australian artists including Sidney Nolan, Hugh Sawrey and Garry Shead are another auction feature.

The auction also contains the best quality garden courtyard furniture and early Italian marble statues. 

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