Window dresser collection to kickstart auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 28th October, 2014

Darryl Farrelly was one of Melbourne’s premiere window dressers and famous for some of Myer’s most memorable windows.

With the festive season around the corner and the Myer Christmas windows in their final stages of preparation, it is perhaps fitting that his arts and design collection will be part of Sotheby’s Australia forthcoming Fine Asian Australian & European Design auction from 5.30pm Wednesday October 29 at Level 2, 41 Exhibition Street, Melbourne.

Renowned for his keen eye and significant contribution to Melbourne’s design and retail world through visual merchandising, Darryl Farrelly also was a prominent patron of the arts and a lifelong collector.

He commenced with European pieces and later acquired works of Middle Eastern and oriental provenance.

One of his collection highlights is a 19th century Flemish cabinet (lot 44) made of tortoiseshell, bone and ebony.

The Sotheby’s Australia sale will also be notable a selection of European cabinetry such as the 1740 Italian Lacca Povera painted and parcel gilt cabinet from Venice.

A sharp contrast is contemporary ‘Boomerang’ desk designed by Maurice Calka (1921-1999) for Leleu-Deshays (lot 92) – an example of the rapid developments in design during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

This iconic piece comprises white fibreglass in a biomorphic form, and is widely regarded as having revolutionised the traditional workspace.

A mold-blown Pairpoint Corporation ‘Apple Tree’ reverse painted glass and patinated metal table lamp (lot 81) presents a rare opportunity for art noveau collectors.

The colours of the luscious apples, green foliage and delicate blossoms have been retained through the special process of hand painting the frosted glass on the inside of the lamp.

Asian art works feature prominently in the sale, with a gilt bronze figure of Buddha from the Qianlong period (lot 207) expected to attract strong interest from local and international bidders.

A pair of hardwood incense stands, Xiangji from the Qing dynasty (lot 37), has been crafted from possibly zitan and elmwood and features interlinked stylised scrolls.

The auction also contains a strong collection of traditional through to contemporary paintings and sculptures by leading Australian and international artists.

Australian artists whose works appear include Del Kathryn Barton, Peter Booth, David Boyd, Margaret Olley and John Perceval.

International artists feature such prominent names as Pablo Picasso, Andrew Lhote, David Shepherd and Claude Venard.

Shepherd originally donated his Kudo Calf, painted in 1968, to raise funds for the Zambia Wildlife Conservation Society and since then it has remained in the same family collection.

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