East Melbourne collector auctions his significant collection

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 5th February, 2021

While still a teenager, Christian McCann recalls helping the East Melbourne collector, who wishes to remain anonymous, curate his significant and comprehensive collection.

Several of the extremely rare items were purchased around 1980 from Christian’s father Ron and he quickly built a reputation for identifying quality items.

Now, the East Melbourne stalwart has sold his opulent mansion near the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is moving into a smaller unit and has handed Christian McCann Auctions the enviable task of disposing of his collection from midday Sunday February 14 at 7 Harper Street, Abbotsford.

Highlights include two Charles Blackman paintings – Star Sign Girl and The Mysterious Forest (lots 78 and 79) – which were part of the Christenson Fund Collection and exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Other paintings of note in the collection are David Boyd’s The Voyagers Dream (lot 77 – part of his Explorers Series) and Blackman’s Mother and Child (lot 81).

Clock collectors will be particularly impressed at the rare French Regence malachite clocks (lots 68 and 65), with other examples hard to find in Australia.

Malachite is an unusual material from which to make clocks and shares common ancestry with Russia’s Hermitage malachite room where all furniture and pillars are made from the same stone.

The collection also contains a prominent Japanese Meiji period Satsuma porcelain section which, according to Christian McCann, is the best he is yet to see in Australia after 25 years in the auction industry.

Of particular importance is a vase featuring hand painted decorations of children flying a kite (lot 190) and a koro with seated figure on the lid (lot 193).

Figures from various Chinese dynasties, including a rare set of Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) horses and riders with accompanying certificate of authenticity and purchased originally from Hollywood Road in Hong Kong (lot 141), are another drawcard along with an important pair of Chinese scholar calligraphy weights (lot 140).

Other attractions include an outstanding 19th century French three piece Carrara marble clock set (lot 164), an 18th century Italian ebon and turtle shell vergueno on stand (lot 166) and several fine chandeliers.

Christian McCann said with the current scare about community transmission of the COVID-19 virus, he was still planning to hold a live aution while complying fully with Victorian Government regulations in relation to the matter.

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