Colonial artists among Melbourne auction attractions

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 21st April, 2018

A John Glover watercolour entitled Fishermen is one of the highlights of Kim’s Auctions latest sale from 11am Sunday April 29 on site at 711 Toorak Road, Kooyong.

Glover (1767-1849) was an English-born Australian artist known as the “father of Australian landscape painting”.

Arriving in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) on his 64th birthday with a strong reputation as a landscape painter, Glover is best known for his Tasmanian landscapes.

In 2001, the John Glover Society was established to honour promote his memory and contribution to Australian art.

Another artist of note in the auction is Charles Rolando with his works The Sun’s Warming Light and Country Scene up for grabs.

The son of an artist, Rolando (1844-1893) was born in Florence and showed early painting ability.

In 1870, he went to England where his commissions included frescoes for a Roman Catholic church.

At 30, Rolando married Frances, sister of portraitist George Alfred John Webb who later lived in Adelaide and Melbourne.

In 1883, they left for Australia but stopped at Cape Town where he gained first prize in an art competition for his landscape of Table Mountain.

This delayed their arrival in Melbourne for two years because he became busy with commissions resulting from the win.

From his studio in Grey Street, East Melbourne, Rolando painted assiduously, chiefly landscapes of the Watts River and Gippsland Lakes country.  

In 1887, he exhibited 38 paintings in Melbourne and major country towns. He died in 1893 from chronic bronchitis.

The auction, which contains items from the property owners who have moved overseas, includes a 4th century BC Greek crater depicting a lady of fashion holding a tambourine and torch and Greek lekanis – both from the town of Apulia.

There is a Chinese Song Dynasty (1127AD-1279AD) dish and an ancient rhinoceros horn cup with flower and double fish design.

A Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) superbly carved ivory figure of a Lohan monk is another attraction.

Among the furniture on offer is a an 1830s English mahogany extension dining table with three leaves, in the manner of Gillows of Lancashire, with 14 matching chairs.

A French marquetry top Boulle ormolu mounted five-drawer Wellington chest is another drawcard, along with a 1951 R152 Grant Featherston contour chair and ottoman manufactured by Emerson Bros and re-covered in original 1950s sourced fabric.

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