Lost Buckmaster self-portrait a lucky auction find

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 16th May, 2016

A 1960 self-portrait of Australian artist Ernest Buckmaster has been discovered as the backing for another of his paintings earmarked for auction at E.J. Ainger’s two-day special sale from 11am Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22 at 433 Bridge Road, Richmond.

Discovered by the restorer who was busy cleaning the auction painting for Aingers (a seascape of Mentone – where Buckmaster lived during the 1930s and 1940s), the self-portrait has been fitted to a canvas, mounted in a beautiful period frame and also will be part of the sale.

The paintings belonged to the late Mrs Calanchini who was an astute collector of antiques and artworks for her magnificent property at 2 St Georges Road, Toorak.

At the behest of her good fried Dame Mary Daly, many of Mrs Calanchini’s artworks were bought during the late 1950s directly from the artists who included such well-known names as William Dargie, William Dobell and Matthew James MacNally.

Other paintings in the sale include works by Roland Wakelin, Robert Camm, Sidney Nolan and James Jackson.

The auction features a spectacular collection of antiques and decorative arts assembled over many years by Cynthia Gurner and her late husband Major-General Colin Marshall Gurner.

The most important pieces left behind in their family home at 21 Airlie Avenue, Prahran when they downsized are those on offer at the auction.

They include a Steinway boudoir grand piano manufactured in 1917 in Hamburg and purchased by Cynthia’s father to assist with her studies at the Adelaide Conservatorium of Music.

There is an extensive collection of painted Royal Worcester, complemented by several highly decorated Dresden figures and beautiful pottery and glassware pieces that would enhance any lounge room.

The dining room furnishings, featuring a set of excellent Regency mahogany chairs, quality assorted silverware and Oriental pieces, are included in the remainder of the collection.

On Saturday, auction items include a selection of decorative French kingwood and walnut furniture along with antique English mahogany, and oak.

There are quality Persian rugs, decorative French mirrors, dinner sets, chandeliers, leadlight lanterns, tapestries, and bronze and marble statues.

Sunday offerings feature art and quality china, glassware and ceramics including Mutano, Venini, Lalique, Royal Worcester, Royal Doulton, Clarice Cliff and Moorcroft.

Among the sterling silver are cutlery canteens and added attractions include gold watches, jewellery and ivory carvings. 

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