Bonhams To Sell One Of Australia’s Great Unknown Antique Collections from Graham and Elizabeth Cocks

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1,500 works gathered over 50 years includes a clock from Australia’s greatest early clock maker

Bonhams is delighted to announce the sale of the late Graham and Elizabeth Cocks Collection which will be sold in two parts, Part I on the 18th November at the Byron Kennedy Hall in Sydney and Part II the following weekend at Unit 14, 888 Bourke Street Waterloo, Sydney.

The collection offers buyers a unique opportunity to purchase items from one of Australia’s great collections. The collection itself includes more than 1300 items and spans English, European, Asian and Australian Decorative Arts and was formed over a period of 50 years. Many of the pieces offered for sale have not been seen on the market since the 1970s.

The collection includes, Australian Furniture, Australian, English and Chinese Silver, Australian Jewellery, Australian Pottery and Ceramics, Australiana, English and European Ceramics, Chinese Porcelain, Japanese Satsuma and Bronzes, Cast Metal Toys and Collectables.

Top item in the sale is an important Australian cedar and casuarina longcase clock, by James Oatley, circa 1822, estimated to sell for $250,000 -350,000.

On 27 January 1815 James Oatley (1770-1839) arrived in Sydney having been sentenced at Hampshire Assizes in 1814 to transportation for life as a result of his prosecution for stealing sundry bed linen and other items. He was a trained clock and watchmaker from Stafford and soon after arrival was appointed keeper of the town clock by Governor Macquarie. In 1821 he was granted a conditional pardon and established a business in George Street, opposite the current Town Hall. He became Australia’s most important early clock maker and is best known for his longcase clocks of which there are believed to have been only 31 made between 1820 -1827 with at least nine (Nos. 15 – 23) being made in 1822. In 1820 the population of the settlement was only 15,000.

Other Notable Sale Highlights include:

  • ‘Lions’ A Pate de Verre Glass vase by Gabriel Argy-Rousseau, introduced in 1926, $15,000 – 20,000.
  • A Worcester reticulated vase by George Owen, 1906, $6,000 – 8,000
  • “The Rosehill Cup” An Australian gold two handle trophy by William Kerr, Sydney, circa 1925, $10,000 – 15,000
  • “Hamley Gun Club 1873 Champion Cup”, An Australian silver presentation cup and cover by Henry Steiner, Adelaide, circa 1870, $8,000 -10,000
  • An Australian full cedar bookcase, Circa 1840, $8,000 -12,000
  • A rare Australian full cedar pedestal sideboard of small proportions, Circa 1835, $8,000 -12,000
  • A lizard bowl by Marguerite Mahood (1901-1989), $3,000 -5,000
  • A large Doulton Lamberth glazed stoneware vase by Hannah Barlow and Florence Roberts, 1891, $12,000 -18,000
  • A large 19th century Servers panel gilt bronze mounted mantel clock, the movement sign Hersant F’OT 1874, $7,000 – 10,000

James Hendy, CEO of Bonhams Australia comments: “We are honoured to be selling this wonderful collection which represents the life long passion and obsession of Graham & Elizabeth Cocks. Covering many traditional categories, this collection provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for antique collectors to find something superb.”

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