Online Australian auction despite severe restrictions

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 7th August, 2020

While other Melbourne-based auction houses have deferred their decorative arts and art sales until the Victorian capital is free of its Stage 4 coronavirus pandemic restrictions – where only essential businesses are permitted to operate – Christian McCann Auctions (on advice from Business Victoria) is pushing ahead with a remote and online auction from 12pm Saturday August 8 and Sunday August 9 at its 7 Harper Street, Richmond rooms.

Bidding for items can only occur through absentee bids, by phone or online. All collections will be carried out by post or courier at a reduced rate.

Viewing also is online with the auction house providing condition reports where requested.

The auction centres on the entire contents of a Toorak mansion with an outstanding 19th century Italian finely carved marble figure depicting Cupid and Psyche (lot 302) by Florence sculptor Pietro Bazzanti one of the major highlights.

Born in 1775, in 1822 Bazzanti established the Art Gallery of Florence which specialised in marble, alabaster and mosaics to satisfy mainly foreign customers wanting to obtain perfect replicas of masterpieces they had seen during trips to the Italian city.

His son Niccolo also was a talented sculptor and the “workshop” of Pietro Bazzanti and Son became an historic Florence landmark, and as a “Fine Arts Trader” at the 1861 National Exposition, the studio won the medal for the “sculpture” category.

Niccolo is known for his Andre Orcagna statue in Florence and the famous marble replicas of the Venus of Medici and Apollino that adorn the palace Revoltella in Trieste.

Bought in 1960 by the Marinelli family, the studio continues to the present day.

The auction contains quality antique furniture such as the 19th century French apprentice tilt top table (lot 68), kingwood commode (lot 35) and marble top credenza (lot 56) to appeal to a broad selection of auction goers along with a comprehensive range of French and English clocks and clock sets such as lots 18 and 44.

Household name Australian artists are featured including Brett Whiteley, Ray Crooke, Pro Hart, David Boyd, Sidney Nolan and Vic Collins (lot 15).

Antique porcelain is well represented through such brands as Coalport, Royal Worcester, Royal Vienna, Sevres, Herand, Dresden and Royal Doulton (lots 76 and 42 are good examples).

Chinese art, jade, bronze, carved stone and porcelain is another drawcard along with outdoor garden statuary, fountains, figures and palatial urns.

The auction also contains a collection of luxury limited edition handbags from Gucci, YSL, Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney and Valentino.


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