Edward Clark is a veteran of the Melbourne antiques trade and in over fifty years, he has had nine antique shops in Melbourne and three in the countryside. Edward’s life of collecting began as a schoolboy; his parents were avid collectors, but he also confesses that living near the old Toorak tip, which he visited frequently as a young boy, is where he began his life of ‘trading’. He would retrieve abandoned objects and then frequent the antique stores on High Street, Armadale to sell his discovered treasures. It is here that he believes he truly became ‘obsessed with’ antiques and curiosities, and at the age of 17, Edward opened his first antique store. It was around this time that his relationship with Kozminsky’s and the Albrecht family began. Kurt Albrecht, former owner of Kozminksy’s and author of 19th Century Australian Gold and Silversmiths was an important influence for Edward and his interest in Australian Silver. Edward and Kurt shared a passion for Australian colonial silver, and during their friendship, Kurt mentored Edward on the subject. Leonard Joel has also been a long-standing part of Edward’s life.
The most memorable moment Edward recalls was in 1974, when Leonard Joel sold the collection of India’s Maharajah of Mysore. This collection was negotiated by Edward on behalf of Leonard Joel from India, and was, at the time the largest collection to be imported into Australia. Although comprising only of 256 lots, the collection featured a significant selection of royal carriages. Edward’s highlight was not only tendering the collection, but having the opportunity to meet the Maharajah in person. Another highlight in his career was his one-year feature on Bert Newton’s Good Morning Australia as the resident antiques valuer, where he would promote upcoming Leonard Joel auction offerings.
It was this longstanding relationship with Leonard Joel and the Albrecht family, that led to Edward deciding to offer his remaining stock in trade and personal collection at auction with us. Some of Edward’s personal favourites in the upcoming auction include a stylish 1980s Carrera marble table designed by Angelo Mangiarotti, and a Murano two tone glass chandelier and matching wall sconces. Edward’s passion for Murano glass and lighting is inspired by his early memories of the European shopfronts which displayed the chandeliers sumptuously hanging above elaborate centre tables. After 50 years of shopkeeping Edward is looking forward to winding down his business and focusing on consulting. We are delighted to be offering his diverse collection of modern and traditional interiors at auction on 29 April.
CHIARA CURCIO / Head of Decorative Arts