Large William Ricketts sculpture to attract auction goers

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 1st October, 2013

One of William Ricketts larger Aboriginal sculptures is up for auction at Amanda Addams Auctions latest sale from 6.30pm on Monday October 7 at 344 High Street, Kew.

The sculpture of an Aboriginal elder is 93 centimetres long, 31 centimetres wide and 40 centimetres high and has been in the one family for many years.

Ricketts (1898-1993) is famous for his sculptures of Aboriginals following his frequent trips 1949 to1960 to central Australia to live with the Pitjantjatjara and Arrernte peoples – whose traditions and culture inspired his works.

Born in Richmond, in 1934 Ricketts settled permanently in Mount Dandenong and established the William Ricketts Sanctuary, which still features many of his major sculptures.

Although not trained as potter and never technically superior (both his large and small works frequently exhibit cracking), Ricketts is recognised for the power of his vision of a modern Australia that embraces Aboriginal spirituality and respect for the natural world.

The auction features many modern designer items and a large art collection including such well-known Australian artists as Robert Grieve, Pro Hart, Charles Wheeler and Arthur Boyd.

Paintings that should attract buyers include Geoffrey Brown’s Drinking Tap – Toledo Spain 1953, Sidney Nolan’s Two Men in a Canoe New Guinea 1972 and Harry Rosengrave’s The Go Kart Brothers 1950.

All three paintings were sold previously by Amanda Addams Auctions – the first in 2006 for $6029, the second in 2008 and the third in 20005 for $4550.

There is a large collection of Lalique (12 pieces) – including a purple butterfly design vase – and bronzes by Austrian sculptors Franz Hagenauer and Richard Rohac, featuring a great example of an art deco gilt and ebonized bronze sculpture of a naked woman on a gondola.

Another attraction is the 1965-75 hand beaten sterling silver candlesticks and goblets by German-born silversmith Ernst Fries who migrated to Australia in 1959.

There also is a rare 19th century Sevres ceramic casket form of a royal lady with gilt ormolu highlights and a large Robert Langley sculpture of Old King Cole that belonged to the famous artist the late Jean Carson Gray.

Other items include antique, retro and 1960s furnishings (dining table, chairs, partners desk), a French antique walnut dumb waiter with marble back, Argy Rousseau ceramics, antique and 20th century sterling silver and a large tanzanite diamond pendant.


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