Impressive sterling silver part of Melbourne lockdown fine arts auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 22nd September, 2020

Forced by continuing Stage 4 coronavirus lockdowns in Victoria to hold its first timed online Fine and Decorative Arts auction, which ends from 12pm Tuesday September 22 at 47 Glenferrie Road Malvern, Philips Auctions is offering an impressive array of sterling silver for those buyers and collectors willing to take the plunge.

The sterling silver section begins at lot 130 – a magnificent Victorian pedestal rose bowl – and ends at lot 188, a charming Victorian book form vinaigrette with a current bid of $210 in a $190-$300 estimate range.

Estimates vary widely with an impressive 1810 George III sterling silver soup tureen (lot 168) carrying the top estimate of $13,000-$16,000. The tureen carries the maker’s marks for Benjamin Smith II and James Smith III and contemporary coat of arms ‘Ventri Secundis’.

Other interesting pieces include a George IV figural table snuff box (lot 159) and a Victorian castle top card case (lot 160).

The auction contains several fine art deco spelter figures including a bronze gladiator (lot 31) by French sculptor Michael Decoux (1837-1924) with a catalogue estimate of $3800-$6000.

There also is a comprehensive porcelain section including many Chinese examples from lots 50-71 and 10-119 along with jade ornaments, figural groups and Japanese netsukes.

One of the more unusual items is an exceptional 1877 Victorian cased enamel and gilt scent bottle (lot 129) with the London makers mark Henry William Dee on the base. The spherical bottle has been decorated with romantic 18th century idylls after Francois Boucher including ‘The Music Lesson’.

Many of the furniture offerings (lot 351-392) would make fine additions to Melbourne households during this tough restrictive period including a pair of Italian Arper Catifa 80 lounge chairs (lot 365) designed by Lievore Altherr Molina in 2006.


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