Austrian silver garniture a major Australian auction focus

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 21st June, 2021

An incredible late 19th century Austrian silver three-piece figural table garniture (lot 56) by leading Viennese silversmith Josef Carl Klinkosch (1822-1888) is the major focus of Christian McCann Auctions forthcoming Melbourne antiques and fine art sale from 12pm Sunday June 27 at 7 Harper Street, Abbotsford.

Apprenticed to his father Carl from 1835-1839 before becoming a certified silversmith five years later and taking over his father’s business in 1851, in 1864 Klinkosch formed a partnership with Stephan Mayerhorfer leading to a quick expansion with the employment of several hundred workers.

Mayerhorfer & Klinkosch participated in the 1873 Viennese World Exhibition and five years later in the Parisian Exposition Universelle where it won numerous silver and gold medals before the two partners parted company.

With customers from society’s upper echelons, from 1855 Klinkosch was silversmith to the court of Emperor Franz Josef of Austria.

Knighted in 1879 and thereafter becoming known as Josef Carl Ritter von Klinkosch, he retired five years later and the company passed to his two sons.

The garniture is part of a diverse collection of silver, sculpture and clocks meticulously sourced from high end auction rooms, galleries and antique shops throughout the world and includes important continental silver, fine palatial sculptures by French artists such as Michel Cloidion (1738-1814) and Émile Picault (1833-1915), outstanding English Wedgwood and 19th century French timepieces.

Another quality Austrian silver piece is the gilt and rock crystal figure of an ostrich with semi-precious stone eggs and silver gilt chain (lot 59) along with the late 19th century French Louis XVI style silver plated six-light candelabra by the house of Odiot, founded in 1690 by Jean-Baptistery Odiot, which produced quality objects for King Louis XV and became official supplier to King Louis-Philippe and the Orleans royal family.

Three of Picault’s marvellous sculptural creations are in the auction, including lot 73 titled Le Penseur showing a pensive male below an eagle, lot 74 called La Source du Pactole and lot 76 – a classical seated male with dogs.

An exceptional 19th century marble figure group of Hercules and his wife and child (lot 40) is a strong collector drawcard and only adds to the auction’s appeal.

Typical of the timepieces on offer is lot 12, an outstanding English Regency flame mahogany bracket clock with brass embossed handles and a hand painted dial, and a 19th century French mantle clock depicting a Roman senator (lot 5).

Among the porcelain is a rare English Wedgwood solid agate ware with raised mask head and floral wreath decoration (lot 21) and an exhibition quality 19th century French Sevre vase (lot 39).

There are various 19th century French furniture pieces worthy of note including lot 31, an outstanding kingwood shaped single-drawer salon table incorporating satinwood and marquetry inlay, a kingwood three-drawer bureau plat (lot 67) and an exhibition quality serpentine shaped centre table (lot 223).

An important 18th century carved Italian centre table (lot 83) is another strong auction attraction, while the exceptionally well carved cabinet (lot 89) telling the Greek literature story of Jason and the Golden Fleece is an 1893 creation with lift up hidden lockable secret cabinet.

Australian and international art should entice those auction goers looking for quality paintings with artist names such as D’Arcy Doyle, Ernest Buckmaster, Pro Hart, David Boyd, James Waltham Curtis, Rubery Bennett and Criss Canning in the mix. Of particular note is Hart’s The Bush Burial (lot 53).

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