Unusual art deco collection to be auctioned in Australia

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 25th April, 2023

One of the most unusual art deco collections ever to come to auction in Australia is being offered from 12pm Sunday April 30 by Melbourne-based Leski Auctions at 727-729 High Street, Armadale.

The collector, who passed away unexpectedly, was a life-long passionate art deco devotee and the collection contains some of the most beautiful pieces ever made.  

Right from lot 1, a circa 1934 pair of English sterling silver mantle urns made by Chester-based jewellers and silversmiths S.Blankensee & Son Ltd, auction goers should be keenly interested in the auction items.

Born in 1801 in Wielun, Poland, Solomon Blankansee was a highly successful jeweller who at age 25 founded a business in Bristol.

Such was the quality of its products and so large did the business become that few others could equal it. Solomon died in 1864 and the business, which by this time had moved to Birmingham was carried on by two of his sons, Abraham and Aaron.

Lot 23 is a Goldscheider Austrian art deco porcelain statue of the butterfly woman signed by famous artist Josef Lorenzl.

In 1885, Friedrich Goldscheider moved from the Bohemian city of Plzen to Vienna and founded the Goldscheider Porcelain Manufactory and Majolica Factory – which became one of the most influential ceramic producers of terracotta, faience and bronze objects in Austria.

With subsidiaries in Paris, Leipzig and Florence, for more than 50 years the factory created masterpieces of historical revivalism, art nouveau and art deco – and listed amongst its famous artists such notables as Lorenzl, Stefan Dakon, Ida Meisinger and perhaps the two best known Austrian ceramic exponents Michael Powolny and Vally Wieselthier.

Another interesting Goldscheider creation is a 1930s statue of the Virgin Mother and Child (lot 40).

One of the more valuable items, a circa 1930 dancing figure (lot 257) with a $10,000-$15,000 catalogue estimate, is by one of the most important sculptors of the art deco era Demetrie Chiparus (1886-1947).

Born in Dorohoi, Romania, Chiparus lived, studied and worked in Paris and is famous for his dance figures of the Russian ballet and French theatre.

Other fascinating figures are Leda and the Swan (lot 255), a cast bronze statue by Falguiere Amedeo Gennarelli (1881-1943) and a French art deco maiden with a sword by Dominque Alonzo (lot 258).

An interesting but very affordable item is the Tuscan pair of English art deco porcelain jewellery (lot 115), while an early 20th century Lalique “Deux Figurines Grandes” French frosted and stained figural glass mounted on a sterling bowl by Crichton Brothers (lot 162) is well worth a second look.

Another affordable piece is a late 20th century Italian spherical Murano glass aquarium sculpture (lot 170).

Among the art deco furniture is affine Austrian centre table with a hoop base (lot 200) made from fiddleback maple and Macassar ebony on a walnut base.

A circa 1925 Austrian art deco four-door palisander and birch sideboard (lot 203) also could be a decorative addition to the family room, lounge or dining room.

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