Belgian antique dealers bring their expertise to auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 1st June, 2020

Belgian antique dealers Eloy and Winifred Van Paridon are living testimony to the lengths collectors will go to find that next elusive bargain.

Avid attendees at auctions held in European castles, they often arose early for 4am sojourns to snow covered antique fairs – searching by torchlight for what might turn out to be increasingly valuable treasures.

Both have antiques in the blood for they are children and grandchildren of antique dealers, dating back to a time when dealing was totally different to today’s world.

Seeing a good business opportunity, more than 20 years ago Eloy moved to Australia to open Van Paridon Antiques at Sassafras on Melbourne’s Mt Dandenong tourist road, while Winnie remained behind in Belgium to maintain their European business interests.

While all other antique dealers concentrated on English Victorian furniture, the pair were the first in Australia to import fine continental antiques.

This generated huge demand for their items, with thousands flocking each week to their Mt Dandenong premises.

Now it is time for Eloy and Winifred to downsize and so they have asked Christian McCann Auctions to dispose of their collection as part of a two-day auction from 12pm Saturday June 13 and Sunday June 14 at 7 Harper Street, Abbotsford.

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but with restrictions now easing to allow up to 20 people (who must social distance and register on arrival) in the auction rooms at any one time, it is a sale offering many fine antiques such as brass inlaid and ormolu mounted salon cabinets, a rare Boulle cheval mirror (lot 395), 19th century French kingwood writing box (lot 5)  and French extension table.

There is ormolu mounted Boulle furniture, a carved giltwood credenza, mirrors, chandeliers, lights and Persian carpets.

Among the English offerings is George III and Regency mahogany furniture including a Chippendale display cabinet, settee, sofa tables and twin pedestal sideboard.

Collectors of Japanese Meiji period netsukes (including a mask - lot 89) will not be disappointed while signed 19th century bronze figures include an exhibition of a winged man with cherubs titled “Genie Du Progress” (lot 6).

Among the unusual highlights is a rare Sicilian wedding cart or Carretto with hand painted scenes of 15th century maritime explorer Christopher Columbus’ travels (lot 458). These carts were introduced to the island by the ancient Greeks and became particularly popular during the 1920s.  

The auction contains 19th century museum quality French Sevres, including a Sevres tea cup (lot 1),  and a collection of 18th and 19th century timepieces featuring a French longcase clock, marble and ormolu clock sets, and salon and bracket clocks – a typical example being  one supported by a bronze winged cherub (lot 47).

Among the paintings on offer are works by Australian artists John Perceval, Hugh Sawrey (lot 9), David Boyd, Pro Hart and Ernest Buckmaster.

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