Mother's Day gifts auctions include Australian celebrity items

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 9th April, 2021

Items belonging to two well-known Australian celebrities are part of Philips Auctions timed online Fine & Decorative Arts and Modern & Antique Jewellery auctions finishing from 12pm Monday April 19 at 47 Glenferrie Road, Malvern.

Although neither celebrity wishes to be named, the items themselves are an impressive part of both sales.

One, lot 364 in decorative arts, is a mahogany Bechstein grand piano with a $5000-$10,000 catalogue estimate and a current bid of $5300 and would be perfect for any aspiring concert pianist.

The others are lot 95 – a marquise cut 4.10-carat diamond by Bvlgari with a catalogue estimate of $90,000-$140,000 – and lot 255, a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona wristwatch in everose gold, carries a $40,000-$55,000 estimate, each being part of the jewellery auction.

With Sunday May 9 looming as Mother’s Day for 2021, the Philips Auctions sales are shaping as the ideal venue for that perfect gift for a special Mum.

In particular, the jewellery auction is full of potential with items ranging in estimates from several hundred to tens of thousands of dollars.

A stylish art deco styled emerald and diamond line bracelet (lot 154) is typical of the items on offer with a catalogue estimate of $3500-$4500 but there are plenty of less expensive pieces such as the pair of gold hoop earrings (lot 152), onyx and diamond set panel ring (lot 156)  and strand of multi-toned pastel south sea pearls (lot 151).

Among the decorative arts sale are items like a George IV neoclassical sterling silver and crystal centrepiece (lot 150) and a superb Victorian sterling silver grapevine centrepiece (lot 191), which no doubt buyers will strongly consider as suitable Mother’s Day presents.

If Aboriginal art is more appealing, then lots 260 and 261 – works by ‘Lofty’ Bardayal Nadjamerrek AO (c1926-2009) and Djardi Ashley (c1950-2007) – might be appropriate gifts.

Unusual furniture items can often make wonderful presents and a fine Empire-style mahogany fauteuil de bureau (lot 360) could be just the item some buyers are looking for, while lot 370 – a camphorwood lined campaign chest of historic interest – is not to be ignored in the gift stakes.

The chest was purchased in 1985 from the estate of licensed second hand dealer and pawnbroker Bill Brown who lived in Cannons Creek, Victoria, and originally belonged to Australian pioneer aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith.

Inside were photos of the Southern Cross and many other items belonging to the aviator.  This, of course, was the aircraft which Kingsford Smith established many aviation records (including in May 1928 the first trans-Pacific flight from the United States to Australia) before he tragically disappeared at sea in 1935.

Apparently, Brown lent Kingsford Smith money from time to time and the camphorwood chest must have been among items offered as security. It is probable the chest then became Brown’s property after the pilot died.

Brown might have even been a crew member on one of the flights – London to Cape Town – but that has not been verified.

There is no doubt that both sales have plenty to offer buyers with many of the items meeting practical household needs.

Live viewing will be from 9am-5pm Tuesday April 13 to Friday April 16 and 1pm-5pm Saturday April 17 and Sunday April 18.

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