Renaissance silver cup an auction reminder of Tasmanian governor

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 18th April, 2019

In 1868, the British Conservative Party MP for North Essex Sir Charles Du Cane was appointed the third Governor of Tasmania – a position he held until November 30, 1874.

Before he left England, his constituents and friends presented Sir Charles with a Renaissance silver cup which will be among items to be auctioned from noon Sunday April 28 by Christian McCann Auctions at 429 Burnley Street, Richmond.

The lid is embossed with the goddess Diana, her dog and hunting scenes while the lower section features a satyr seated on a rocky mound.

Sir Charles’s tenure was notable for a strong and prosperous colony, partly due to industrial and resources booms and improved communication between Tasmania, the Australian mainland and England.

The only glitch was a minor constitutional crisis when the then Premier of Tasmania, James
Wilson, threatened to resign after his proposed taxation scheme was defeated in Parliament, which would have left the colony without a government.

The auction features fine porcelain by such makers as Royal Worcester with 18th century Sevres pieces depicting the French royal coat of arms a highlight.

Rare 18th century French and English furniture are other attractions including a Regency secretaire bookcase, George III flame mahogany bow front sideboard, a matched pair of veni-martin vitrines and roll top desk with marble top.

Auctioneer Christian McCann said a large collection of 19th century French and English clocks that he sold to the vendor over a 20-year period is another bonus – featuring such examples as a brass repeat carriage clock, a bronze and ormolu salon version and an oxy based gilt mantel timepiece.

“Unfortunately, the owner has died and his family has asked me to sell the collection,” he said.

Among the European and Australian art on offer is a rare 19th century oil painting depicting courtesan life, a French recital painting, a Hugh Sawrey European restaurant scene and a Rubery Bennett landscape.

McCann has discovered that friendships can last a lifetime for the parents of one of his old schoolmates (who used to live in Camberwell and now reside in Patterson Lakes) have entrusted him with their marble sculpture collection at the April auction.

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