World War I paintings a timely historical reminder

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 17th October, 2014

With centenary commemorations honouring the start of World War I a regular occurrence this year, Philips Auctions has signified its modest acknowledgement of events with two paintings by noted ship portrait artist Arthur Victor (AV) Gregory of vessels that served with Australian forces during the Great War in its latest auction.

Gregory lived from 1867 to 1957 and the two paintings, completed in 1918, are of the AIF hospital ship Karoola and the SS Riverina crossing the Tasman Sea.

Another painting in the auction – from noon Sunday October 26 at 47 Glenferrie Road, Malvern – is of a Japanese cruiser from the same era.

Painted in 1915 by little known artist Stan Atkinson, it is possibly set in the waters of Chile and the ship weighed 9800 tonnes.

All three paintings come from a deceased Sale estate and belonged to the vendor’s father.

Once again, Philips Auctions is offering a collection of carefully cellared Penfolds Grange Bin 95 from 1970 to 1996 – following its September auction success with other bottles from the same vendor.

The 1970 vintage, which won gold medals in 1975 at the Melbourne and Adelaide Shows, was tested in 1998 in a Penfolds wine series clinic.

The collection also includes a magnum of 1996 Penfolds Grange Bin 95 in its original glass fronted timber box.

Georg Jensen creations are another auction feature with a sterling silver bowl designed by Sigvard Bernadotte bound to attract plenty of attention and sterling silver tazza (by Jensen himself in 1918) a great taking point.

A fine 1905 sterling silver two handled tea tray, complete with London maker Thomas Bradbury & Sons mark, is engraved with the Bateman-Hanbury family armorial bearing the Latin motto ‘Nec Prece Nec Pretio’ – ‘neither by bribery or prayer’.

One of the more intriguing items an early 19th century Chinese export lacquered pewter lined tea caddy with the smell of the leaf still strong.

The caddy bears the name James Murdoch – a coffee and tea merchant of the era – although any relationship could be pure chance.

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