Treasure trove of antiques and collectables hits auction market

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 29th June, 2017

A treasure trove of antiques, collectables and art will be up for grabs when the former owner of Portland’s Glenelg Auctions, Brian O’Halloran, auctions his private collection – amassed over 50 years – from 11am Sunday July 2 in his private residence at 390 Glenferrie Road, Malvern.

Now operating under the banner Victorian Auctions and Valuations, O'Halloran has spread items for auction throughout the large two-storey historic mansion, which features many unusual collectables.

The dining room is a highlight with a four-leaf Gillow-style mahogany dining table and chairs, Victorian mirror back mahogany sideboard and attractive dinner service, crystal and glass and sterling silver from the 1820s-1880s.

Founded by cabinetmaker Robert Gillow in the early 1700s, the Gillow name became one of the best-known makers of English furniture.

Upstairs, a special room has been devoted to Asian furniture including a circa 1900 Japanese cabinet carved and decorated with ivory.

The room also contains a giant pair of African elephant tusks weighing 43 kilograms.

These were brought in the mid-1950s to Australia by the Götze family who some years earlier had established a tea plantation in Tanzania.

Tragedy struck when a rogue elephant killed one of the workers and had to be shot. The tusks were kept as a memento and the meat given to the local village.

Some of the more unusual items include a black forest timber lady with basket framed by a garland of wisteria, a 210-centimetre high sculpture of an African Masai woman and child made from ironwood, and a rare Chinese hand carved bamboo vestibule featuring a natural landscape, mountain village and human faces.

Others are an 1890s figural amphora three-tier wall light and Royal Dux and 1870s Gold Scheider figures.

Auction goers will undoubtedly be impressed with the intricately shaped Victorian Cuban mahogany double bed and a giant walnut framed mirror 260 centimetres high by 138 centimetres wide.

There are several notable paintings including an impressive 1860s work by Italian artist Charles Rolando entitled The Sun’s Warming Light After the Rain inside a John Thallon frame hanging in the dining room.

Rolando came to Victoria in the 1860s and worked closely with fellow artist J.H. Scheltema at Healesville on many of his paintings.

A Scheltema painting entitled Summer Pastures is displayed in the hallway.

Other paintings include Charles Blackman’s The Cat (originally from the Ballarat Art Gallery) and Scottish artist James Cassie’s Twilight on the Moor

Other artists to feature in the sale include John Glover, John Bracks, Hans Heyson, Ernest Buckmaster, Rubery Bennett and B.E. Minns.

The auction also contains library bookcases, French and English clocks, French and Chinese porcelain, a collection of scent bottles, ivory and jewellery. 

The garden features an important 1860s Val d'Osne foundry cast iron fountain.

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