Auction items fit for a queen

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

The cream brick veneer exterior – admittedly with magnificently manicured large lawns and gardens – belies the plushness of the interior at 14 Otway Street, Holland Park in Brisbane with furnishings to rival those seen in Buckingham Palace, according to Mossgreen’s antiques and decorative arts specialist Jennifer Gibson.

Many of the items to be auctioned – from 2pm Sunday December 18 – are fit for a queen, including a pair of William IV sterling silver Rococo Revival soup tureens made in 1835 by Henry Wilkinson and Co in Sheffield.

The tureens once belonged to Sir Charles McMahon (1824-1891), a captain in the 10th Hussars who served in Canada and India.

He arrived in Melbourne in 1852 and the following year became Assistant Commissioner to the Melbourne Police Force and Chief Commissioner in 1856.

According to the accompanying inscription, McMahon presented the tureens to the Officers Mess Police Depot on July 1, 1855.

On leaving the police force, he entered politics and in 1871 was appointed Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

While the auction contents can be viewed on site from 10am-5pm Friday and Saturday and 10am-12pm Sunday, the sale itself will take place at the Brisbane City Hall, 64 Adelaide Street, Brisbane.

Jennifer Gibson says silver items, including the soup tureens, are particularly heavy.

“The George III set of four sterling silver rectangular sauce dishes and covers (made in 1804 by Richard Cook of London) weighs 8.5 kilograms,” she said. “And the George III set of four sterling silver entrée dishes and covers (also 1804 by the same manufacturer) weighs four kilograms).”

Equally impressive is the pair of Victorian silver plate nine-light candelabras almost one metre high.

The auction has significant highlights a fine George III ormolu mounted tortoiseshell veneered striking musical automaton table clock made for the Ottoman market by eminent maker Markwick Markham (1725-1805) of London.

Markham specialised in clocks for the Turkish market and examples of his work appear in world famous collections including Dolmabahçe Palace, Istanbul.

Another feature is the George IV mahogany four-pedestal dining table with five leaves almost six metres long.

The table is accompanied by two sets of similarly designed George III mahogany chairs – one a set of 14, including two carvers, and the other a set of eight (also with two carvers).

Other interesting items include a 19th century finely carved Regence style gilt wood centre table, a pair of Louis XVI style Breche d’Alep gilt metal mounted pedestals and a 19th century Louis XV style marble top gilt metal mounted and tulipwood marquetry bombe commode in the manner of Charles Crescent.


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