The late Ray Crooke to be tested at auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 11th February, 2016

Three (including one large) paintings by Australian artist the late Ray Crooke will feature in Christian McCann’s first auction for 2016 from noon February 21 at 426 Burnley Street, Richmond.

One of Australia’s leading landscape artists, famous particularly for his serene views of Islander people and ocean landscapes based on the art of Paul Gauguin, Crooke died in December last year aged 93.

Although not usually recognised for his portraits, he won the 1969 Archibald Prize with a painting of novelist George Johnston.

The University of Queensland owns three of his portraits – Portrait of (novelist) Xavier Herbert (1977), Portrait of Professor Emeritus Sir Zelman Cowan (1919-2011), Vice-Chancellor 1970-1977 (1977) and Portrait of Sadie Herbert (1980).

Many of Crooke’s works are in Australian galleries and The Offering (1971) hangs in the Vatican Museum.

This will be the first real test of how Crooke’s paintings will fare on the auction market since his death and his works join paintings by other famous Australian artists – including Pro Hart, Haughton Forrest and Rubery Bennett – in the sale.

The auction contains a major collection of Japanese bronzes including temple vases, anamalier figures, and dragon and bird mounted vases and figure groups.

Among the furniture is a rare Swedish marriage commode with separate coats of arms from the husband and wife’s families on either side.

There is a music box collection from a Malvern vendor and a massive gilt mirror (3.5 metres tall by two metres wide) reputed to have come from the Grand Hotel in London.

These feature among antique French commodes, vitrines, credenzas and Boulle furniture. There also is a bureau-plat and an Empire bookcase.

A major three-piece Regence clock set is the drawcard among French and English antique timepieces that also contain a 10-tube chiming long case creation and carriage and bracket clocks.

Exhibition quality antique porcelain from Royal Worcester and major European factories such as Meissen, Dresden, KPM and Sevres is another attraction – while for Chinese porcelain lovers there is a Doncaster collection purchased in Hong Kong, with many of the items accompanied by original certificates.


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