The Hyde Collection

A well-known medical professional, the vendor of this extraordinary private collection was also a heritage enthusiast and a passionate collector of antiques, fine art and furniture.

He wrote several submissions to the government, urging them to preserve local buildings and this appreciation for history was reflected in his home, a Federation house in Sydney, and its contents.

A passionate collector for over 70 years, he travelled extensively, and the majority of his pieces were acquired during expeditions to Europe, the result of which is an outstanding collection which will be proudly offered at auction by Leonard Joel in Sydney on 3 December.

Comprising fine English Georgian and Regency furniture, English porcelain, 17th and 18th century Dutch paintings, Kangxi blue and white, tortoiseshell boxes and a selection of high quality clocks, the collection represents an era of timeless grandeur.

Clocks by esteemed English and French makers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries include a mantle clock by John Arnold (1736-1799, London). Arnold was an innovator of the wristwatch, taking over from John Harrison and refining precision timekeeper which included three inventions, one of which, the overcoil balance spring is still found in wristwatches today.

The Hyde Arnold is a refined Georgian mantle clock with Egyptian Revival inspired motifs painted on the base. The wonders of Ancient Egypt had been revisited by the French Revolutionary Army in 1798 and were to inspire design for the next 30 years. Arnold’s timepieces are included in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and the British Museum.

Other significant pieces include a Dutch Musical Walnut Longcase Clock, signed Gruning Amsterdam circa 1770, a rare Henry Borrell (active 1795-1840) Regency Quarter Striking Musical Clock with a singing bird mechanism and bracket clocks with examples by John Johnson (active 1770-1800, London) and Grignion & Sons (active 1720-1825, London).

The porcelain section includes a rare Flight and Barr Worcester dessert service printed with botanical specimens circa 1800, and a Nympenburg Royal Bavarian pattern part dinner service.

The paintings are mainly of landscapes, seascapes, pastoral scenes and Dutch domestic interiors. One of the standout paintings is a dramatic shipwreck by son of Queen Victoria’s equerry and had an interesting military upbringing, attending military school in Wiesbaden, Germany. He left the army to join the Royal Mail and settled in the Isle of Wight painting marine settings, with some commissioned by HRH Prince of Wales. Eventually Forrest migrated to Tasmania and became a prolific artist, particularly known for his landscapes, some of which appeared on the first set of pictorial stamps in Australia. Demand for Forrest’s work has increased in recent years due to his photo-realistic style and Hyde’s example demonstrates this.

Hamish Clark
Head of Sydney