Belgian antiques pioneers auction their Australian collection

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 15th March, 2023

If it hadn’t been for Eloi and Winifred (Wini) van Paridon, Australians might never have discovered the elegance and beauty of Belgian antiques.

Pioneers of the Australian antique trade, the husband and wife team were instrumental in introducing local collectors to the wonders of European creations through their Sassafras-based business Van Paridon Antiques in the hills of Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges.

The couple arrived 50 years ago in Australia and, once their business was established, imported antiques from throughout Europe – with markets, high-end shops and even castles as their source.

In 1999, they purchased Villa Oreste and worked tirelessly to turn it into the current grand estate at 114 Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda.

Sadly, Eloi died recently and Wini has decided to move back to her native Belgium essentially to begin life’s next chapter which will involve driving throughout Europe and holidaying as much as possible.

As a result, she has asked Christian McCann Auctions to dispose of their collection on site at the Olinda mansion from 11am Saturday March 23 and Sunday March 24.

The auction should be well attended as the shop was a popular attraction, well laid out and complete with fresh flowers and a supporter of the Royal Children’s Hospital by asking visitors for a gold coin donation.

The van Paridon collection features fine European antiques, vintage radios, cameras, art, sculpture, lights, outdoor garden statuary and a much-loved Jaguar car.

Several Belgian items feature in the auction including a tall earthenware three handled floral vase (lot 4), an antique hand painted cameo panel on a brass easel (lot 21), a rare 19th century flame mahogany library chair (lot 60) and a wrought iron and glass hanging light (lot 248).

A standout is the Belgian painted wrought iron umbrella stand from a prominent Antwerp hotel (lot 303).

A decorative lead light shaded lamp on an applied bronze dragonfly decorated base (lot 33) in the Tiffany manner is another interesting creation – while various French pieces, such as Benedict Rougelet’s (1834-1894) 19th century terracotta figure group of three playful cherubs with grapes (lot 26) will no doubt bring collectors running.

Born in Tournos, he was the son of tanner Pierre Rougelet and formed a drawing workshop for young stonemasons opened by the Catholic priest Father Philibert Garnier.

Garnier was the foster brother of Alceste de Chapuys-Montlaville, a Second Empire senator who organised a 500-franc scholarship for Rougelet to study in Lyon and Paris.

 For jewellery lovers, a pair of 14-carat white gold drop pierced earrings (lot 304) might appeal, while clock enthusiasts need to check out the rare arch-shaped Scarlet boulle salon clock (lot 308).

A superb pair of antique Venetian Blackamore pedestals (lot 336) is another auction drawcard, along with a fine pair of 19th century Cantonese lidded vases (lot 345).

Various artworks are another feature including Grace Cossington-Smith’s Floral (lot 35) at a $35,000-$52,500 catalogue estimate and Norman Lindsay’s Seated Lady (lot 19) at $25,000-$37,500.

Among the furniture highlights is a rare 18th century oak armchair (lot 88) with Masonic carved decoration reputedly from the old Buffalos in the United States and purchased in Belgium by Wini when she was 18 years old. 

To the extent permitted by law, neither AAR nor the registered owner of this website is responsible for any content of any advertisements published on this website. You should contact directly the advertiser to confirm the accuracy of any details contained in any advertisement.