Connoisseurs out in Force at the Graham Geddes Collection of Important Antiques and Objects

Over three days and five sessions Leonard Joel’s Specialist Collector department had the privilege of dispersing important antiques and objects from the collection of Graham Geddes Antiques. This single-owner collection was one of the largest stock in trade dispersals in Australian history and affirmed Leonard Joel’s position as a serious force in the management of high value single collections.

37The sessions were roughly divided in to antiques, statuary and Asian art and objects and the sheer spectrum of stock offered made possible an auction that generated so many interesting and often surprising results. From the outset it was clear that collectors had decided before the auction that quality and rarity would be their focus and the results indicated that.

From session I a determined bidding war ensued for lot 375, the rare 17th/18th century cocuswood side table, to finally sell for more than double its estimate for $34,160 (IBP). The highest price for session I was realised for lot 150 (illustrated); a most impressive 18th century Danish bureau which sold for $61,000 (IBP). Session II on Sunday presented a more eclectic offering and in many ways it was much more representative of the playful but no less serious collecting taste of Graham Geddes. One of the highest prices for the day was for lot 1427; a French cast iron statue of Daniel made by the famous Paris factory of Mark J. J. Ducel which sold well above estimate for $31,720 (IBP). One of the more interesting items was a large pair of celestial and terrestrial globes, lot 705, that sold for $17,080 (IBP).

The session III evening was eagerly anticipated by collectors of important Asian objects and the night did not disappoint with some thrilling bidding duels which was typified by lot 1723, a beautifully decorated Chinese globular vase, that finally sold for $17,080 (IBP) against a low estimate of $2,600! The highest price for the evening went to a sublime Chinese tea bowl bearing a Daoguang mark which finally sold for $21,960 to a local collector. The three day auction was reminiscent of the grand old days of large scale, highly diverse and very social auctions and Leonard Joel was delighted to have also enjoyed the auctioneering support for this marathon auction of both Scott Livesey, a previous employee of Leonard Joel many years ago and now proprietor of the established Melbourne art gallery Scott Livesey Galleries ( and Roger McIlroy, previous Chairman and Managing Director of Christie’s Australia and now the proprietor of the international fine art consultancy Roger McIlroy Pty Ltd (

Guy Cairnduff, Head of the Specialist Collector and his colleague Liza Hallam are now inviting important single-owner collections for their calendar of auctions