Australian medico's art collection an auction healer

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 22nd November, 2021

Being the doctor for one of Australia’s better known artists – in this case John Perceval (1923-2000), the last surviving member of a group known as the Angry Penguins who redefined Australian art in the 1940s – has its benefits if you happen to be a collector.

For the late Raymond Petersen and his wife Margaret (Peg), it was a bonus having Perceval as one of his patients because he ended up with signed works from the artist.

These, and other works by famous Australian artists, will appear as part of a two-day auction from 12pm Saturday November 27 and the same time the following day by Melbourne-based Christian McCann Auctions at 7 Harper Street, Abbotsford.

The Petersen collection, which will be auctioned day two of the sale, can be viewed on site at 5/78 Marie Dalley Drive, Kew from 10am-5pm Thursday November 25 and Friday November 26, and from 9.30am-12pm Saturday November 27 and Sunday November 28.

Both with a keen interest in art, antiques, history, horse racing, gardening, travel and English cars, Ray and Peg met in the late 19609s in Kew through mutual friends.

Initially working as an accountant, Ray’s real passion was medicine so he returned to university to obtain his medical degree and then became a general practitioner. His GP career began in Footscray before moving in the early 1970s to Vimy House, Kew (now St Vincent’s).

Peg was born in England and moved with her family to Bendigo aged three where her father obtained work in the mining industry. As a young woman, she was a model and singer/entertainer and regularly performed on ABC radio and at Claridge’s in Toorak.

An excellent example of one of the Perceval paintings in the auction is lot 1045 Monkeys in the window.

There also are several works by Charles Blackman including The Mysterious Forest 1984-85 (lot 1047), Star Sign Girl (lot 1046) and Mother and child (lot 1048).

An unusual item is a pair of 19th century English cut glass lustre vases (lot 1051), while an early silver plated serving centre piece on a revolving base (lot 1058) is another attraction.

A 19th century French four-drawer kingwood commode (lot 1061) is indicative of the furniture on offer, while among the timepieces is a 19th century French oak cased bracket clock with side doors (lot 1067).

There is some nice porcelain including a Japanese Meiji period (1868-1912) blue glazed charger (lot 1093) and a Japanese Satsuma two-handled vase (lot 1316).

Among the jewellery is a gold plated snake bangle by WH Davis & Co (lot 1259) and watches include an Yves Saint Laurent lapis lazulu and gold plated ladies wristwatch (lot 1277).

Day one of the auction, which features treasures of the orient, includes a quality 19th century Sitzendorf porcelain lidded comport with a cherub on top and hand painted panels (lot 4) and an exceptional rare 19th century French boulle apprentice bijouterie table 9lot 15).

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