A Greville Street Memory

The collecting journey

Celebrating collections means much more to us than simply their beautiful presentation, although undoubtedly this element is critical when it comes to the arts and decorative arts. Celebrating at Leonard Joel is as much about engaging with both our clients and their collections, on a journey. It often begins with the simple but still important task of how to physically manage a collection, through all the elements of a selling process, with the ultimate aim of a successful auction and a simple, timely settlement.

I find the process has a wonderful educational element; from beginning to end one learns about the collection and its categories, while often learning more about your client and their collecting philosophy. I always remember one collector telling me they collect what “speaks to them and gives them joy”. I’m attracted to that philosophy. At the end of these journeys you emerge enriched for the process; you’ve connected with someone new – sometimes their family also – and you know more about your subject matter than you did at the beginning.

Sometimes, an auction house is lucky enough to enjoy the constant contact of a passionate collector over decades and not just weeks. When I first began my Leonard

Gae Aulenti Ruspa Quattro Table Lamp
Gae Aulenti Ruspa Quattro Table Lamp for Martinelli Luce $25,000 – 30,000

Joel journey in the 1980s, the 20th century categories, the postwar categories, and the design categories were only just entering the broader collector consciousness, and indeed a dealer base that was previously completely preoccupied with the Victorian and surrounding periods.

One rare Melbourne visionary who saw beyond high-polished mahogany was Geoffrey Hatty, who presented extraordinary things for collector consideration; things that were contemporary in design and philosophy. I always remember visiting his dealership in Greville Street, Prahran and it was unlike anything I’d seen in Melbourne. He was as generous then with his quiet knowledge as he is now, and some 40 years later we have the great honour of offering his entire collection in a career concluding auction with Leonard Joel.

These are the journeys we love being on with our clients, and we look forward to celebrating with you,
Geoffrey, and his collecting community, this compelling postwar survey of design objects and furniture.

JOHN ALBRECHT Chairman / Head of Important Collections

Banner image: Pieces from Geoffrey Hatty: A Life in Design & Decorative Arts

July 2022