International design auction offers Christmas gifts with a difference

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 5th December, 2017

Leonard Joel’s International Design & Applied Arts auction – from 6pm Wednesday December 6 at 333 Malvern Road, South Yarra – is a great opportunity to pick up that Christmas gift with a difference.

Right from lot 1, a Pablo Picasso ‘Colombo Brillante’ earthenware platter for Madoura 1953 from the late James Fairfax estate, there is plenty from which to choose.

An untitled oil on canvas by Paul Partos (1943-2002) from Sydney’s Gary Anderson Gallery in 1985 would be an interesting adornment to any room in the house – while Bernard Hesling’s Untitled (Fish) enamel on metal plate as a coffee table top should bring plenty of admiring glances.

Some of the more valuable lots include a late 19th century seminal marble figural lamp ‘Sogno Di Sposa’ by Italian Professor Guiseppe Bessi (1857-1922) and a 4th century AD Roman marble mosaic panel – with respective catalogue estimates of $20,000-$40,000 and $10,000-$15,000.

Bessi studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence at a pivotal time for Italian marble neoclassicism and art noveau sculpture.

Regarded as one of the most important representatives of the Italian Salon Sculpture, in 1879 he founded a workshop in Volterra where he made mainly alabaster busts and statues and marble figures.

Director of the Art School of Volterra from 1891 to 1910, Bessi’s alabaster art works were exhibited and awarded at the World’s Fair in Paris, Turin and St Louis.

Other valuable ancient artefacts include a 13th century monumental Khmer sandstone sculpture of Buddha and a 12th-13th century Khmer sandstone stele.

The auction also contains a 1970s large glazed earthenware sculpture by Alexander Leckie and a set of Australian studio pottery dishes by Col Levy.


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