A welcome back auction to burst COVID blues

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 3rd November, 2021

Melbourne auctioneer Christian McCann is over the moon that he is finally able to hold a live auction after six COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns from March 2020 to end October 2021 in the Victorian capital.

“I cannot wait to greet customers face to face and thank them for their support over the past (almost) two years,” he said.

This “welcome back” sale, from 12pm Sunday November 14 at 7 Harper Street, Abbotsford, features a stunning display of English George II and George III furniture from a Perth, Western Australia estate including a half round rosewood console table in the manner of 18th century Scottish architect and designer Robert Adam (lot 39).

With his brother James, Robert Adam designed furniture to decorate rooms and, following considerable time studying in Italy particularly around the excavations and findings of Pompeii, on his return became court architect to George III.

The Pompeii finds greatly influenced his work where he brought back the simple classical lines of Roman and Greek styles to Georgian furniture of the time introducing the new Neo Classical features.

Among other important estate items is a c1720 George I walnut bureau cabinet (lot 40) with original mirror plates and candle slides, along with an exceptionally rare c1770 George III period yew wood bureau cabinet (lot 41) and rosewood Regency dropside work table (lot 47).

An 1820s Regency period mahogany writing table (lot 53) and quality pair of oak “chamber writing tables” with ‘secret’ hinged ink and pen recesses (lot 56), a trademark of famed furniture makers Gillows of London and Lancaster, and until 1994 residing in Raby Castle, Durham, are other important attractions from the Western Australian estate.   

High end antique French furniture also is a feature of this auction with a rare pair of kingwood bureau plats (lot 28) bound to attract plenty of attention from collectors.

Of particular note are exhibition quality 19th century corramandel and scarlet boulle bureau plat (lot 100), bombe shaped kingwood pedestal (lot 128) and serpentine shaped two door salon cabinet (lot 138) items.

A 19th century French carved water gilt mirror with cherub and floral decorations is another not to be missed item (lot 124) – while two 2nd century AD Roman marble torsos (lots 143 and 144) are equally fascinating.

Carriage clocks (lots 1-4) are worth a look, along with art deco figures (lots 248-251) and several works by Australian artists.

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