Vendor provenance to attract auction goers

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 15th October, 2013

Items belonging to one of New Zealand’s leading auctioneers, the late Murray McKearney, are among some of the stronger attractions in Philips Auctions latest sale, from noon on Sunday at 47 Glenferrie Road, Malvern.

From the 1960s, Mr McKearney was a dominant force in the antiques and fine arts auction scene around Hastings and until the 1980s (when he ceased auctioneering) every dealer of note from Auckland to Wellington gathered for each of his auctions.

Recognised as the halcyon days of antique dealing, the quality of antiques was high and they were always superbly displayed and presented in good condition.

Mr McKearney was the ultimate auction showman, but at the same time was a stickler for detail with arrangements – and it was not uncommon for him to change the position of a display item several times before he was satisfied.

The quality of the items in the Philips Auctions sale that once belonged to Mr McKearney are typical of his outlook and include an 1860s Victorian amboyna and kingwood Sutherland table, an 1825 George IV mahogany dropside table and an 1820s Georgian mahogany dressing table/desk.

Another interesting collection is that of Ron and Geraldine Cooper who until recently owned a shop in Riversdale Road, Hawthorn, which they established in 1987.

Geraldine is an interior designer and, over the next few auctions, Philips Auctions will be selling their entire shop stock including light fittings, furniture and accessories – which she purchased and brought back to Australia during her extensive travels.

A fellow of the Designer Institute of Australia, Geraldine is renowned for the interior designs of many beautiful homes throughout Australia.

The items for sale in this auction, complete with original retail price tags, provide a good indication of the quality to come and include imported designer French furniture.

Typical of the items on offer is a pair of large pagoda glazed hanging lanterns, a replica bronze Roman torso of the philosopher Artemis, a French antique style extension table and eight upholstered chairs, and a designer faux stone lamp with shade – all of which would be ideal for holiday homes or modern apartments.

An unusual auction feature is the large collection of paperweights, while a leading member of the Australian Silver Society is auctioning many items including a cake stand, George II sterling silver salver, cutlery service and bread basket.

Another is the antique decorative silver items (including hair pieces and brooches) the vendor bought during the 1980s while living in China, a common pastime among expatriates at the time.

Biedermeier (named after the social change in European society following the fall of Napoleon) and Regency furniture from a Geelong estate is another attraction, while the auction also contains items from the late John Rolls – who owned a store at Tyabb antique centre.

Monday night’s jewellery sale is notable for the massive 116.75-carat Victorian silver and citrine brooch and the 1970s diamond cocktail ring.

Also of interest is a large modern cocktail dress ring with 25 main brilliant cut diamonds, and a ring containing a fine Kashmir circular cut sapphire. Another auction feature is the two ladies watches, one a Hardy Brothers white gold and diamond specimen and the other IWC yellow gold.



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