Rare Chinese table a top Melbourne auction seller

A rare 19th century Chinese jade embellished hardwood corner-leg table (lot 567) belonging to a Queensland-based private collector and a 1660 painting of Margaret Weller (lot 119) attributed to famous Dutch-English portrait artist Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680) took the top two spots at Gibson’s Auction November 11 Melbourne sale.

The table sold for $18,300 including buyer’s premium and the painting for $14,640. Born Pieter van der Fraes to Dutch parents living in northern Germany, Lely was portrait artist to Charles I, then Oliver Cromwell and finally became Charles II Principal Painter in Ordinary a year before becoming a naturalised English subject.

Margaret Weller (1627-1694) was the eldest child of English Parliamentary General during the English Civil War Sir William Waller and married to Sir Philip Harcourt.

The painting carries the provenance Powderham Castle, Viscount Harcourt, Oxford University, UK.

Not far behind the painting in price was a large and impressive circa 1810 Regency bronze mounted ebonised and giltwood convex girandole (lot  196) and a late 18th/early 19th century French Directoire period gilt bronze mounted parquetry inlaid marble top commode (lot 139), each of which changed hands for $12,200.

A large circa 1900 Scottish Wemyss ware tabby cat with green eyes (lot 217) easily surpassed its $5000 high estimate when it sold for $8540 – along with a 1911 large stoneware double-sided face jug by Robert Wallace Martin of London’s Martin Bros (lot 293) that brought $7930 also on a $5000 high estimate.

Lot 1 – a set of eight 1784 George III sterling silver plates changed hands for $7320 – double the catalogue estimate and a 19th century Japanese boxwood netsuke of Kwanyu wearing long robes and armour and carrying his halberd (lot 533) for $5386.

Two lots – 573, a Japanese Meiji period folding screen, and 629, an early 19th century Balinese jewel encrusted gold mounted Kris – each brought $5124.

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