Ancient treasures subject of special auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 16th November, 2016

A Greek Attic black-figure column krater or vase attributed to the Swing Painter and dating from about 530BC is an important highlight in the largest private collection of antiquities to be auctioned in Australia for many years.

The sale, conducted by Christian McCann Auctions, will be held on site from midday Sunday November 20 at 3 Illawarra Crescent, Toorak – the home of passionate lifetime collector Stewart Macciolli who purchased much of his collection through Sotheby’s and Christie’s in London.

The vase – featuring a charioteer with crimson beard and hair dressed in a long peplos and departing in a quadriga with six male attendants – carries a catalogue estimate of $90,000 to $120,000.

Many of the extremely rare ancient works of art come from Greece, Persia, Italy, Rome, Syria and Egypt and date back thousands of years.

Among the more important are a Greek Attic red-figure fishplate from the fourth century BC acquired in the mid-1970s from the Amati Collection and a Greek Campanian red-figure bell krater circa 335BC.

Other interesting items include an Etruscan terracotta bust of a bearded man from the second century BC and a Persian tall-necked unglazed decorative vase – along with a range of Egyptian amulets, Roman statues, oil lamps and other ancient world items.

The auction contains fine art works by leading Australian artists such as David Boyd, William Dobell, Arthur Boyd and Hugh Sawrey and a collection of antique sculptures in bronze and marble by important sculptors.

One, featuring a pair of French 19th century bronzes depicting horse handlers signed by Cousteau, is particularly eye catching.

Several of the clocks are worth viewing including an exceptional gilt bronze salon clock with classic maidens.

Auction goers will be impressed at the exceptional 19th century French antique and provincial furniture on offer (including a kingwood display table), along with quality carved Chinese examples.

Collectors should also check out the range of antique Chinese and Japanese ivory and the important pair of palatial Chinese figures.

For porcelain lovers, there are several superb examples of 19th century Sevres vases and Dresden – and from China several 18th and 19th century examples. 

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