March 13, 2015
Thanks to the interested Sèvres connoisseurs who contacted me to point out the slight problem with the following 'revelation': some-one else has already made the same 'discovery'!
10 years ago, David Peters published 'Sèvres plates and services of the 18th century' (2005) , in which he clears up the previous discrepancies about this artist & his mark. I'm pleased to learn this; it's like being at University again, with a master supporting my hypothesis!
The lesson here is : do not believe everything you read on the internet; there is a lot of 'junk' out there without academic support. I'm just pleased that this post, although incorrect in describing a 'new' discovery, is still accurate & a useful description of how a researcher can still discover fresh insights into this fascinating field.
Maybe next time I will be first.....
Paul Rosenberg, April 2015.
February 27, 2015
|Set of Meissen 'Seasons' busts, c. 1755|
|Rare Limehouse pickle dish, circa 1747|
January 22, 2015
There’s ‘rare’ and then there’s ‘supremely rare’. These bottles illustrated here belong to the ‘Supremely Rare’ catagory, particularly the smaller engraved one.
Brought in to Moorabool by a local, they were family pieces, handed down through several generations with origins in Holland, and the Dutch East Indies Company.
These wine bottles are of typical mid-17th century form, although in a vivid emerald green colour rather than the more often-seen deep black/green. My assessment was: nice early pieces, a few thousand dollars worth. But something was nagging the back of my mind; looking back through some photos taken at the Victoria & Albert Museum ( late last century!) I realised why the engraving was familiar; I had admired & photographed one there.
Theirs was signed & dated, and sure enough, this example bears a tiny engraved signature, “WillemVan Heemskerk” and the date - 26th February 1677!
Willem Jacobz. van Heemskerk (Leiden, 1616-93) was actually a cloth merchant, but in his spare time he practiced the art of caligraphy - using diamond-point engraving on glass vessels. His verses are described by the authorities as ‘pithy’ - often biblical, or drinking toasts, often with a touch of humour. "The lamp of life is but a vapor” reads one, while others appeal to the mercantile Dutch sensibilities: "Eat silently", i.e. keep quiet when making gain, and "He who brags about his success, often loses his gains” , both quotes from a Statesman of the time, Jacob Cats (1577-1660).
The bottle we have is a very charismatic piece, and needs to be handled to truly appreciate the beautiful (as yet un-translated) script. However, it has now been locked away in a very safe place, as I will explain:
The real shock came when I looked up auction prices…. they head into the 6-figure range!
Our example is comparable to this one, sold at Christies in 2013:
It seems there are only around 80 of these beautiful pieces known, and they are considered to be the most desirable of their kind. The Rijksmuseum has 25 of his works, while the Museum Boijmans in Rotterdam has 8; the Getty has 1, the V&A has one, and our own National Gallery of Victoria here in Melbourne has a clear glass goblet by him, purchased in 1989.
Moorabool is very excited to be able to offer this rarity, along with its simpler un-engraved relative, in our 2015 ‘Recent Acquisitions’ Exhibition.
The best way to enjoy it is to have a look at the video I have posted on YouTube.
January 18, 2015
A Large Tournai figure of Bacchus & his merry band, Circa 1765.
Measuring almost 40cm high, this is a very large piece of 18th century porcelain. Modelled in the round, it was intended as a table-piece, to be placed in the center of the table. Bacchus sits astride a barrel raising his cup, accompanied by several cherubs….. rather young to be drinking! One is raising a small glass, while the other is filling a bottle from the bung of the barrel. Moving around the figure, there is a semi-clad woman with a basket of pears….. what her significance is I am not sure, but she doesn’t appear to have a drink: another cherub is approaching her around the rock pile, holding up a bottle while riding a goat backwards; clearly under the influence!
The central Bacchus with the barrel & the child filling the bottle is a good recreation of a Meissen model, by Johann Joachim Kaendler, circa 1745. (Moorabool had one such group in the late 1990’s). The rest is the creation of the Tournai artists, who were particulary skilled at creating an ‘island’ of rocks on which the figures are placed, along with foliage to soften the composition; in this case, there are grapevines growing rampant.
Unmarked, it links clearly to other pieces attributed to the porcelain works at Tournai, such as these examples in the Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington;
This amazing piece is a part of Moorabool Antique Galleries ‘Recent Acquisitions’ Exhibition, to be held in our Geelong premises in March 2015.
November 09, 2014
2015 Catalogue.....We're excited to announce our next catalogue, to be launched early 2015. Over the past year, we have accumulated a host of interesting items, mostly ceramics. They will be well documented with painstaking research, and beautifully illustrated in the colourful format of catalogue we have pursued over the past few years. The items in the catalogue will then be the core of our 2015 'RECENT ACQUISITIONS' exhibition, to be held in our Geelong shop. This will be February some time.... date still to be announced. Join our email list on www.moorabool.com to be alerted when items are viewable.
Meanwhile, here are a few of the pieces currently being processed: we'll post more as the year draws to an end.
above: a gaggle of English coffeepots, all 18th century. left to right: Wheildon type (ex Zorensky Collection); Jackfield type with beautiful cold-painted decoration, a rare survivor; Pearlware Chinoiserie; Redware (ex Rosenberg Collection).
November 07, 2013
A Slight Deviation.
|The Kookaburra Vase, by Clem Ainslie of the Harvey School, 1927|
Introducing Clem Ainslie
|The Crane Vase - by Clem Ainslie 1924|
|The Egyptian Vase by Clem Ainslie, 1927|
March 12, 2013
Any pieces from this period are rare, but a pair of charismatic birds are the ultimate.
|Rare pair of White Partridges, by Wegely of Berlin 1752-7|
From Meissen comes this delightful group, known as the 'Billing Doves' - modelled by Kaendler in the early 1740's, this group circa 1745.
|Meissen 'Billing Doves' by Kaendler, circa 1745|
|Derby Bird Service plate by Dodson, circa 1820|
|Chelsea Gold Anchor rococo vases, c. 1765|
This detail and the one below comes from a Meissen knife handle of the 1760's, and has charming farmyard birds painted to the grip on either side. The image you are seeing is enlarged, the originals are miniature works of art.....
|Bow candlestick bird groups, circa 1765|
This pair of candlesticks are remarkable, being made at the Bow factory in London in around 1765. They have two yellow birds each, who are guarding a nest of hatchlings hidden in the flowery branches - while at the foot of the tree a dog and a lamb sit patiently. The sconces are original, and are formed as tulips - exotic and expensive items at this period of history - and are supported on original tole (tin) leaf supports, rare survivors. An interesting discovery relating to these will be discussed in a future blog post - one bird is actually a 19th century English Bone China restoration!
|Vienna sucrier, circa 1765|
|Meissen cup & saucer with bird studies, c. 1745|
|Chinese pith paintings - the story of tea, mid 19th century.|
also listed on our website, unless already sold.
Feel free to email us any questions.
February 22, 2013
Busy times at Moorabool Antiques!
On Saturday 23rd February, 2013, the annual Moorabool Antique Galleries exhibition of recent acquisitions was opened. A good crowd attended, with many items being quickly 'red spotted' by keen collectors.
Taking place in our upstairs gallery, there were over 500 fresh pieces to chose from.
This was also the revealing of our new Picture Hallway- a new space that makes anything placed I it look smart!
My next post will detail some of the interesting pieces in the display, including this fabulous pair of Chelsea Gold Anchor vases.
All items in the exhibition are now listed on the Moorabool website.
February 09, 2013
Here are a few items from the 500+ items in the 2013 Recent Acquisitions exhibition.
|Wedgwood basalt hedgehog, or porcupine, early 19th century|
|Derby vase, circa 1758-60|
|Lowestoft coffee can, circa 1758-60|
|Creamware coffee pot, decorated in the workshop of David Rhodes, circa 1775|
|English enamel scent bottle, South Staffordshire, circa 1780|
|A selection of Staffordshire enamel card trays, 1780's|
|Blanc-de-Chine figure of Guanyin, circa 1680|
|Just plain silly!|
A 'Grebe' jug by Brannam of Barum, circa 1900
|Swansea cup & saucer, flowers by Billingsley|
These are a few samples from the 2013 Catalogue. Once completed in the very near future, it will be a downloadable PDF and posted here.
Any questions, feel free to email us!