The James Fairfax Collection of Decorative Arts sells for $1.74 million
Single Owner Auctions 19 Dec 2014Leonard Joel Sydney Life Imitates Art in the Evolution of an Antiques Empire
For over fifty years, Graham Geddes has travelled the globe searching for the beautiful, the obscure, and the sublime. Driven by a passion for history, objects, and the inexorable thrill of acquisition, Geddes has created an enviable collection. Now, Leonard Joel is offering Antiquities from the private collection of this true connoisseur, ranging in date from the Paleolithic era to late antiquity, in origin from Mesopotamia to France, and in form from arrow heads to exquisite amphorae. With these important antiquities, we are offered a rare insight not only into the meaning of objects in the ancient world, but also their contemporary significance.
Alongside their inherent aesthetic value, many of these items encapsulate key turning points in ancient civilizations. Stylistic transition from the Archaic ‘frozen smile’ to the impassive beauty that defined the Greek Classical era is glimpsed in a head of a woman. The proud form of an azure blue glass alabastron evokes the profusion of Roman production at the turn of the third century AD. Sadly, within a few years the socio-economic crisis would threaten to bring the Empire to its knees. Geddes’ collection of Apulian vases contributes to the showcase of this unmissable antiquities auction, the Ancient Greek pottery. Reflecting decades of acquisition and
appreciation, these exquisite vessels are of breathtaking quality and significance. Upon their surfaces maenads dance, the gods consult, and the Trojan War rages. Representing for the Ancient Greeks the pillars of their culture, the later history of these objects has in turn helped to shape Classics and Archaeology in Australia, and its international reputation. Many of these pieces were selected in consultation with the late Prof. A.D. Trendall. An authority on Greek vases produced in fifth and fourth century BC South Italian colonies, Trendall was an exemplar of the innovation and energy of Australian Classics and Archaeology. In continuing recognition of their importance, pieces from the Geddes collection have been studied, exhibited, and published nationally and internationally. Many of these works have been inaccessible to the public from the early 2000’s, and the Geddes antiquities collection has never been shown in its entirety.
The Leonard Joel auction, Antiquities from the Private Collection of Graham Geddes, presents a not to be missed opportunity to appreciate unique objects curated by Graham Geddes, one of Australia’s greatest collectors.
Head of Classic Furniture & Objects
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Leonard Joel is honoured to announce its appointment by the executors to manage this historic...