Presenting Important Collections

Curating the beautiful and collectable, great and small


As you read this, we will have already conducted our first Fine Art and Fine Jewels & Timepieces auctions in a strictly virtual environment, with no public gatherings or in-person appointments. In Sydney, with our salerooms under less stringent public measures, we continue to welcome our clients and friends to gather. Sydney recently enabled two watershed moments for Leonard Joel; the sale of the collection of the late John Schaeffer (that surpassed our previous Sydney decorative arts auction record when we sold the estate of James Fairfax) and just as excitingly the sale, within our newly formed Sydney-based Important Jewels department, of a 17.34 carat emerald cut diamond ring for an eye-watering Australian jewellery auction record of $575,000 (IBP).

Edward Bird (British, 1772-1819) The Auction. Sold for $105,600

Online auctions in Melbourne with virtual viewings, good old-fashioned public auctions in Sydney; this is the nature of business now – old ways and new ways colliding. We are now completely removed from the subject matter of Edward Bird’s The Auction, that we had the pleasure of selling almost exactly a decade ago.

Record results and auctions aside, at the heart of what we do and what we love doing is celebrating collections and to this end I’m proud to announce the formation of our Important Collections department; a department not just for the valuable, but for the historically and socially important also. One would be missing the point if one thought this department was reserved for only the most expensive examples of beautiful, collectable things because it is not. The department is informed and finds its inspiration from our management of the James Fairfax, Mirka Mora and Kozminksy Collections, where the great and the small were curated and sold as the collector would have wanted it; with respect for every object, its history and its place.

And how fitting it is that this department begins in Sydney in November with the presentation of the Private Collection of Trevor Kennedy AM. In every sense Trevor remains the consummate collector; maintaining focus with what he collected, continuously refining his eye and his collection and always patient in his approach. Collections are typically formed over half a century, and great collections always display these attributes. Leonard Joel is honoured to be offering this collection within our newly formed department.

Wishing our entire community and beyond health and safety in these times,

Managing Director / National Head of Collections

October 2020