Page 1

a biannual magazine

art

for collectors of material culture

world

Antiques & of

Visual Arts Exploring the subculture of manga and anime

The Collector’s Market What drives the soaring prices for Chinese art?

Ancient Nigeria: A legacy of extraordinary artworks These rank with the most aesthetically striking and technically sophisticated in the world

From Australia to New Zealand New light on an elaborate silver centerpiece made for the Dunedin Exhibition of 1865

Meissen or England? Where was the first piece of hard-paste porcelain made outside of Asia?

FEBRUARY – AUGUST 2011 ISSUE 80 AUSTRALIA $16.95 NZ $20.95 SINGAPORE $20.00 UK £7.00 US $13.00 €10.50


Contents 126

AROUND THE AUCTIONS

70

The Dunedin Exhibition Suite of 1865 retailed by JM Wendt made by Julius Schomburk

Auction highlights from the major houses

John Hawkins

ART 14

Hugh Hudson 26 46

78

A Holman Hunt painting lost in Australia

Dorothy Erickson 92

of hard-paste porcelain

Ian A C Dejardin

William H Jay

Bessie Davidson: Portrait of Mademoiselle Le Roy c. 1920

94

Michael Petry’s Bad Seed at the Soane Museum Promoting Western Desert art

110 117

Ming Wilson 4

Art in Early Renaissance France Martha Wolff

109

18

Tony Keniston 58

International outlook

61

Happy hunting at TEFAF

42

144

115

Lucien Pissarro’s Eragny Press Jon Whiteley

CONTRIBUTORS DECORATIVE ARTS AND DESIGN

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS LIBRIS

PHOTOGRAPHY 10

24

Reinstating the lost collections at Leighton House Museum Daniel Robbins

Elspeth Moncrieff 143

New galleries for the National Gallery of Australia Helen Musa

ARTNEWS Chinese crackers in London: Soaring prices for Chinese art

EDITORIAL HERITAGE

Donald Friend: Adam & Eve c. 1957-61 Glenn R. Cooke

56

Imperial Chinese robes from the Forbidden City

Colin Colahan: Capturing Australian identity abroad Cherrie Prosser

103

The art of goldsmith Jacqueline Mina Amanda Stücklin

Peter Thorley 100

Africa’s cultural and artistic heritage: Ife art in ancient Nigeria Enid Schildkrout

Elspeth Moncrieff 88

Correcting a misconception: The European discovery

Seeing America through the eyes of Norman Rockwell

Tracy Cooper-Lavery 84

Jamie Linton (1904-1980): A leading Australian silversmith

Anderson & Low: The girl in the red hat 2010 Gael Newton

Thomas Pitts’ neoclassical epergene of 1790 Robert Reason

32

Vases made by Verreries et Cristalleries de Baccarat in 1880s Florian Knothe

36

Chinese jade – The collectors’ market Christopher Proudlove

40

Sakiyama Takayuki’s ‘Listening to Waves’ vase made 2009 Daniel McOwan

50

Italian Renaissance maiolica: Fantasy forged from fire Diana Stone

2 World of Antiques & Art

COVER (Detail) Anderson & Low (est. London 1990–); Jonathan Anderson (b. England 1961), Edwin Low (Chinese, b. Malaysia 1957, England from 1974), The girl in the red hat from Manga Dreams series 2010, inkjet colour print from digital photograph. National Gallery of Australia, purchased 2010


art

A

Holman Hunt painting lost in Australia Through the migration of his siblings to the colonies, works by Holman Hunt, a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood also came to Australia and as so commonly occurs, a painting has become lost

William Holman Hunt (English 1827–1910), Self-Portrait at Age Seventeen, 1845, oil on canvas, 39.3 x 45.7 cm. Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

14 World of Antiques & Art


art

Seeing America through the eyes of

Norman Rockwell In what may be a controversial move the Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery believes Rockwell to be one of the great American painters of his generation, well able to hold his own with the Old Masters in the Gallery’s collection

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), Bridge Game-The Bid, 1948, oil on canvas, 46.5 x 38.5 cm. Saturday Evening Post cover, 15 May 1948 © 2010 Images by The National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, RI, USA and the American Illustrators Gallery, NYC © 2010 Saturday Evening Post covers by SEPS, Curtis Publishing Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), Charwomen in Theater, 1946, oil paint over photographic base, 36.8 x 27.9 cm, Saturday Evening Post, 6 April 1946 cover, © 2010 Images by The National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, RI, USA and the American Illustrators Gallery, NYC © 2010 Saturday Evening Post covers by SEPS, Curtis Publishing

26 World of Antiques & Art


acquisition The Corning Museum of Glass

Vases made by Verreries et Cristalleries de Baccarat

T

(France est. 1764), 1880s

he influence of Chinese imagery in

among other designs, his many disseminated

Western Europe during the eighteenth

prints of ‘Chinese figures’ have been described,

century and the European

and emphasising their relevance for the

development (mostly in France and

decorative arts. Pillement’s prints had a strong

England) of the chinoiserie style have been much

stylistic influence on many media such as

studied and its important contributions to the

decorative painting, woven tapestry and silk,

rococo style thoroughly documented.

printed fabrics and wallpaper, marquetry and

Specifically, the enormous influence of Jean Baptiste Pillement’s (1728-1808) oeuvre, and

lacquer, enamelled porcelain, engraved and enamelled glass. This influence was not limited to the eighteenth century, as it would again play a role in the late nineteenth-century revival of both the rococo and chinoiserie styles. Now in the collection of the Corning Museum of Glass is a large rock crystalimitating glass vase made by Baccarat in the 1880s and engraved with a chinoiserie scene after a print by Pillement that testifies to the ongoing interest in this genre. During the last two decades of the nineteenth century, Verreries et Cristalleries de Baccarat (established 1764) made a variety of glass vases imitating the stylistic properties of objects in colourless and smoky quartz. In addition to copying the thickness and colour of carved rock crystal, individual objects were cut, engraved or gilded with pictorial programs or individual elements that emphasised their exotic nature. Bamboo, phoenix and dragons were favourite oriental motifs. The interpretation of Asian domestic wares or artefacts influenced the shape and size of vessels that took their form from brush pots and vases, and thereby sometimes alienated an

Vase made by Verreries et Cristalleries de Baccarat (France est. 1764), 1880s, glass, engraved, chinoiserie scene after Jean Baptiste Pillement (1728-1808). The Corning Museum of Glass

32 World of Antiques & Art


decorative arts & design

The Dunedin Exhibition Suite retailed by J M Wendt, made by Julius Schomburgk Leading Australian silver expert throws new light on an elaborate silver centrepiece and the pair of accompanying tazzas made for the Dunedin Exhibition of 1865 fields, a second major discovery in 1862 did nothing to dissuade new hopefuls. Like many gold prospectors, professional businessmen made their way to the goldfields to establish services for the miners, including stores, post offices, banks, pubs and hotels. The men who owned these businesses often made more money than the miners. It was this Dunedin business community that decided to hold an exhibition in 1865 to show the merits of New Zealand and create new business for those who were successful as a result of the gold rushes. It was to be the first exhibition in New Zealand, a celebration by a city created by gold only seventeen years earlier. The Exhibition Building is an example of the power of gold to create instant wealth. Among The 1865 Dunedin Exhibition Building from the Illustrated London News

John Hawkins

the highlights were a candelabra epergne and two tazzas of outstanding quality made by the

unedin, the Gaelic name for

Adelaide goldsmith J M Wendt (1830-1917). The

Edinburgh, was founded by the Lay

North Otago Times of 9 March 1865 described...

Association of the Free Church of

tables containing splendid samples of

Scotland on the South Island of New

manufactures in the precious metals. Those

D

Zealand in 1848 and transformed by the

which attract most attention are a group from

discovery of gold in central Otago, southwest of

Adelaide, manufactured by Mr Wendt, of that

Dunedin in 1861. By 1865 it had become the

city. As a guide in designing the central piece,

largest city in New Zealand.

which is a solid silver epergne and candelabrium,

The rush started at Gabriel’s Gully, named after

Mr Wendt obtained from Otago samples of our

Tasmanian born Gabriel Read who had

tree-fern and has used its forms for the principal

prospected for gold in both California and

standard of the piece. Around the base of this

Victoria before arriving in Otago in 1861. He

fine piece of workmanship, sheep with their

discovered gold in a creek bed close to the

shepherds, emus, kangaroos, cattle, and horses,

banks of the Tuapeka River near Lawrence on 20

are all depicted. The grass-tree of Australia, and

May 1861. By Christmas of that year 14,000

a little creeping plant, are beautifully delineated.

prospectors were on the Tuapeka and Waipori

In these and in the cornicopaes which complete

70 World of Antiques & Art


world of antiques & art online u re a biannual magazine for collectors of material cult

a bian nu WORLD OF ANTI QUES & ART

al mag az

ine fo r colle c

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State of the market:

From Australia to London collecting trends are strong

Review of a major Sydney auction New look for London fairs

CELE WOME BRATING PIO N PHO TOGRA NEER PHERS

Ancient crafts: new discoveries / fresh applications

MELDIN G KNO WLE & INFLU DGE ENCE Alex R

FEBRUA

A recently uncovered ancient Roman mosaic floor on show in New York Tiffany’s mosaic glass screen a national heritage in Mexico From decorating jars to jewellery designs: Enamelling is taken to new heights in the UK RY -

eid, Van G & the G lasgow ogh Boys

INSPIR

ED CO

AUGUST 2010

MICS Retellin g India’ s epics AUSTR ALASIA INDIGE N NOU

S ARTS Tommy Australia Watson, a le adin n Indige nous ar g tist Treasure s from Borneo Batik: an cient cr for mod aft ern desi Prized gners New Gui nean ar tefact

Fostering the arts: New titles reviewed

Celebrating Australian art Vida Lahey, one of Queensland’s best-loved artists 78TH ED ITIO N

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CELEBRATING PIONEER WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS

State of the market: From Australia to London collecting trends are strong Review of a major Sydney auction

MELDING KNOWLEDGE & INFLUENCE

New look for London fairs

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Alex Reid, Van Gogh & the Glasgow Boys

Ancient crafts: new discoveries / fresh applications

INSPIRED COMICS Retelling India’s epics

A recently uncovered ancient Roman mosaic floor on show in New York Tiffany’s mosaic glass screen a national heritage in Mexico

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From decorating jars to jewellery designs: Enamelling is taken to new heights in the UK

Fostering the arts:

AUSTRALASIAN INDIGENOUS ARTS Tommy Watson, a leading Australian Indigenous artist Treasures from Borneo Batik: ancient craft for modern designers Prized New Guinean artefact

New titles reviewed

Celebrating Australian art Vida Lahey, one of Queensland’s best-loved artists

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art

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A

Hugh Hudson

Holman Hunt painting lost in Australia

T

he Pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman Hunt (1827-1910) has been portrayed on television as an earnest, bearded man whose morality was

tested to breaking by the siren call of his model

globe are written by expert curators,

Through the migration of his siblings to the colonies, works by Holman Hunt, a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood also came to Australia and as so commonly occurs, a painting has become lost

scholars and journalists.

and muse, Annie Miller. Despite her alluring looks, his early triumph in painting came unexpectedly in the form of the work called The Scapegoat, an unsettling representation of a goat in a desolate Near-Eastern wasteland. It is a reinterpretation of Christ’s sacrifice, rendered surreal by Holman Hunt’s heightened palette. Although his family scarcely featured in the television series, Desperate Romantics, an

This Australian-based bi-annual

Australian connection lies in two of his sisters and a brother immigrating to Victoria in the midnineteenth century, and their descendants preserving the memory of the family’s artistic

journal challenges the traditional

heritage. Drawings by Holman Hunt of his sister and his son came to Victoria through the family in 1923, and are now in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.

Elliott and Fry (London) signed portrait photograph of William Holman Hunt. Courtesy Autograph Collection, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne William Holman Hunt (English 1827–1910), Emily Hunt, 1857, pen and brown ink and wash, 11.8 x 10.8 cm. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

A Holman Hunt painting came to Victoria at

approach to collecting, from

the same time, last seen by the family in 1928 and is now considered lost. The last confirmation of the painting’s existence lies in the Autograph Collection of the State Library of

covering ephemera and the

Victoria that acquired a collection of documents concerning William Holman Hunt and his family in 1951. A clue is in a letter written in 1928 by the manager of the Trustees Executors and Agency Company Limited of

decorative arts to fine art. Explore

Melbourne to William Peagram, the artist’s nephew living in Armadale, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. The letter reads, ‘Mrs A. Thurman’s Estate. In

the myriad of collecting options

the assets of the abovementioned Estate we note a small painting stated to have been executed by the late Wm. Holman Hunt R.A. [sic] at the age of 15 years. The subject is the

including textiles, photography, philately, numismatics, jewellery,

William Holman Hunt (English 1827–1910), Self-Portrait at Age Seventeen, 1845, oil on canvas, 39.3 x 45.7 cm. Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

head of a small child and we understand that the painting was brought to Australia a few years ago by your son for delivery to Mrs Thurman. The painting not being specifically bequeathed, is amongst the list of articles which later will be disposed of either at auction or as

14 World of Antiques & Art

World of Antiques & Art 15

porcelain, silver or furniture – to name some key areas. World of Antiques & Art has it covered, from heritage to culture to investment.

Uncovering lost works More intruiging than a ficticious murder mystery is following an art historian on the trail of a lost work

More to read • Collecting trends • Auction results • Exhibitions


art

art

Seeing America

Ian A C Dejardin

through the eyes of

Norman Rockwell

Visual arts

In what may be a controversial move the Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery believes Rockwell to be one of the great American painters of his generation, well able to hold his own with the Old Masters in the Gallery’s collection

‘R

ockwell is terrific. It’s become too tedious to pretend he isn’t,’ wrote New Yorker art critic Peter Schjedahl in Art News,

September 1999. I couldn’t agree more. My own epiphany about Rockwell occurred a bit before that, at one of the great exhibitions of his work that periodically circle the United States. However, one should not underestimate the strength of anti-Rockwell feeling that existed— and indeed still exists—in some circles. As a ‘Brit’ with very little in the way of qualifications to justify my commenting on another country’s idiosyncrasies, I can only assume that the

Challenging traditional perspectives: Are art critics always right?

opposition is something to do with what you might call ‘brand America.’ Norman Rockwell’s America must have seemed like a travesty to those who saw the grittier ‘truth’ about the ‘land of the free’ in issues like the wars in Korea and Vietnam, and the civil rights struggle (although Rockwell did, of course, tackle the latter issue in at least one very famous image, the vivid sketch The Problem We All Live With. To the Woodstock generation, Rockwell’s images were, simply, lies—and ‘Rockwellesque’ a term of abuse. To which, the only possible retort must be a very American ‘Lighten UP!’ Of his greatness as an illustrator, there can be no doubt. The extremes of reaction to his work are in a way testimony to that. His sunny, occasionally sentimental images of American life would not make some people so very angry if it

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), Cousin Reginald Plays Pirates, 1917, oil on canvas on board, 76 x 76 cm, Country Gentleman, 3 November 1917 © 2010 Images by The National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, RI, USA and the American Illustrators Gallery, NYC

acquisition

acquisition

The Corning Museum of Glass

The Corning Museum of Glass

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), Charwomen in Theater, 1946, oil paint over photographic base, 36.8 x 27.9 cm, Saturday Evening Post, 6 April 1946 cover, © 2010 Images by The National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, RI, USA and the American Illustrators Gallery, NYC © 2010 Saturday Evening Post covers by SEPS, Curtis Publishing

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), Breakfast Table Political Argument, 1948, oil study, oil on acetate on board, 26 x 27.9 cm, Saturday Evening Post, 30 October 1948 © 2010 Images by The National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, RI, USA and the American Illustrators Gallery, NYC © 2010 Saturday Evening Post covers by SEPS, Curtis Publishing

object shape from its original usage, as seen

Vases made by Verreries et Cristalleries de Baccarat

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), Bridge Game-The Bid, 1948, oil on canvas, 46.5 x 38.5 cm. Saturday Evening Post cover, 15 May 1948 © 2010 Images by The National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, RI, USA and the American Illustrators Gallery, NYC © 2010 Saturday Evening Post covers by SEPS, Curtis Publishing

26 World of Antiques & Art

with the smaller vase in the museum’s collection

(France est. 1764), 1880s

World of Antiques & Art 27

illustrated on this page. Distinguishing this smaller example from the many designs that make direct reference to an Eastern repertoire of

T

he influence of Chinese imagery in

among other designs, his many disseminated

Western Europe during the eighteenth

prints of ‘Chinese figures’ have been described,

century and the European

and emphasising their relevance for the

development (mostly in France and

decorative arts. Pillement’s prints had a strong

England) of the chinoiserie style have been much

stylistic influence on many media such as

studied and its important contributions to the

decorative painting, woven tapestry and silk,

rococo style thoroughly documented.

printed fabrics and wallpaper, marquetry and

Specifically, the enormous influence of Jean Baptiste Pillement’s (1728-1808) oeuvre, and

lacquer, enamelled porcelain, engraved and enamelled glass. This influence was not limited to the eighteenth century, as it would again play a role in the late nineteenth-century revival of both the rococo and chinoiserie styles. Now in the collection of the Corning Museum of Glass is a large rock crystalimitating glass vase made by Baccarat in the 1880s and engraved with a chinoiserie scene after a print by Pillement that testifies to the ongoing interest in this genre. During the last two decades of the nineteenth century, Verreries et Cristalleries de Baccarat (established 1764) made a variety of glass vases imitating the stylistic properties of objects in colourless and smoky quartz. In addition to copying the thickness and colour of carved rock crystal, individual objects were cut, engraved or gilded with pictorial programs or individual elements that emphasised their exotic nature. Bamboo, phoenix and dragons were favourite oriental motifs. The interpretation of Asian domestic wares or

motif, the birds and bamboo encircling the vase are exemplary of this fashion. Considering these cultural influences, it becomes obvious that the style of the large colourless vase follows that of a Chinese ceramic with a bulbous body and a four-lobed

Cross culture in glass

rim. Baccarat produced this model repeatedly and several different surface cut decorations are known to decorate the same glass blank. The fine depiction on this larger vase may be the most detailed in its cutting as well as the most accomplished in its design. The larger object is embellished with an eighteenth-century chinoiserie scene. More than

From the Corning Museum of Glass acquisitions that explore the effect of the Orient on the West and the impact of the West on east Asian glassmaking

the continuous employment of a Chinese inspired theme and the ongoing or revived interest it represents, this application of Pillement’s famous print of the ‘Chinese dancer’ alludes to the height of the chinoiserie style under Louis XV and to the oeuvre of one of its principal designers. The historicising nature of this selection celebrates the high style of this genre and a moment in design history when the Western world looked to France and England to assimilate their ‘Chinese’ styles. This phenomenon and the cross-cultural influences in east Asian and western European glassmaking are fascinating topics for further exploration.

Florian Knothe

artefacts influenced the shape and size of vessels that took their form from brush pots and vases, and thereby sometimes alienated an

Vase made by Verreries et Cristalleries de Baccarat (France est. 1764), 1880s, glass, engraved, chinoiserie scene after Jean Baptiste Pillement (1728-1808). The Corning Museum of Glass

FURTHER READING - Fiske Kimball, The Creation of the Rococo (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1943) - Katie Scott, The Rococo Interior: Decoration and Social Spaces in Early Eighteenth-Century Paris (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995) - Jean Pillement, Etudes De differentes figures Chinoises inventees Et dessinees par J: Pillement, a Paris chez Leviez, 1758 - Maria Gordon-Smith, ‘The Influence of Jean Pillement on French and English Decorative Arts,’ in Artibus et historiae, vol. 21, no. 41 (2000), pp. 171-196, and no. 42 (2000), pp. 119-163

Vase made by Verreries et Cristalleries de Baccarat (France est. 1764), c. 1880s-1890s, glass, engraved. The Corning Museum of Glass

32 World of Antiques & Art

World of Antiques & Art 33

decorative arts & design

Africa’s cultural and artistic heritage:

Ancient Cultures

Ife art in ancient Nigeria Ife, an ancient city-state of Yoruba-speaking people in West Africa (now south western Nigeria) produced artworks of extraordinary diversity and sophistication

The refined, life-like sculptures (figs. 2 and 3) demonstrate not only the dignity and selfassurance associated with the idea of dynasty but also the misfortunes and violence that could befall human beings, including startling representations of disease, deformity, and punishment, rendered in stone and terra-cotta that show afflictions caused by both divine and worldly forces (fig. 4). Artists working in the fourteenth- and fifteenth centuries produced copper-alloy sculptures

From Africa artworks that are technically among the most sophisticated in the world

representing royals that mark the height of an

Enid Schildkrout

extraordinary flowering of artwork. A pure copper mask (fig. 5), a full king figure (fig. 6), a

efore the twelfth century, Ife was a

royal torso, and a tiny figure of a queen curled

cluster of agricultural settlements

around a pot and supported on a round stool are

whose people laid out patterned

among the most important works ever found in

pavements made of potsherds, cast

West Africa. Spectacular copper-alloy sculptures

remarkable works in copper alloys and created

found at nearby sites along the Niger River (figs.

B

terra-cotta ritual objects of extraordinary artistic

7 and 8), as well as two important Benin

quality. By 1100 CE, Ife artists had developed a

bronzes, demonstrate the widespread influence

refined and highly naturalistic sculptural tradition

of Ife art throughout the region. A group of

in terra-cotta and stone. These works were soon

naturalistic copper-alloy heads, which might have

followed by copper-alloy sculptures made with

been portraits of real individuals, seems to have

the lost wax technique—many of them of such

been made in a very short period of time, perhaps

exquisite beauty that Ife’s place in the history of

by a few artists working in a single workshop. Most

African and world art was assured.

of these sculptures, buried under houses and

Comprising idealised portrait heads, exquisite

located in outdoor shrines, were discovered

miniatures, expressive caricatures of old age,

haphazardly during the twentieth century. Some

lively animals, and sculptures showing the

were found in shrines that are still in use, where they

impressive regalia worn by Ife’s rulers, these

were associated with particular rulers and deities.

works reveal the stunning creative range of Ife

The purpose for which the copper-alloy heads

artists. Many Ife works, which rank among the

were made is uncertain. Like many heads made

most aesthetically striking and technically

of terra-cotta, some bear traces of red and white

sophisticated in the world, have been brought

paint, perhaps referring to the tradition of face-

together for a groundbreaking travelling

painting during initiation rites. All of them have

exhibition (fig. 1).

holes in the necks, possibly to secure them to a

4. Osangangan Obamakin, Ife, Figure of a man with elephantiasis (Wuchereria bancrofti) of the scrotum, 12th-15th century, terra-cotta, h: 29 cm. Photo courtesy Museum for African Art/Fundación Botín

wooden stand or figure. Most have large holes in

decorative arts & design

decorative arts & design

1. Ita Yemoo, Ife, Janus-headed sceptre with gagged heads, 14th-early 15th century, copper alloy, h: 9.2 cm. Photo courtesy Museum for African Art/Fundación Botín. 2. Wunmonije Compound, Ife, Head with crown, 14th-early 15th century, copper alloy, h: 24 cm. Photo courtesy Museum for African Art/Fundación Botín

The Dunedin Exhibition Suite

the top, probably for the attachment of crowns, suggesting that they may have served as mounts for the display of royal regalia during rites of renewal and purification. About half of the copper-alloy heads have fine vertical facial lines that represent painted or scarified marks or beaded veils. Ife artists created terra-cotta sculptures and

3. Ife Palace, Ife, Head called ‘Lajuwa,’ 12th15th century, terra-cotta, h: 32 cm. Photo courtesy Museum for African Art/Fundación Botín

5. Ife, Mask called ‘Obalufon,’14th-early 15th century, copper, h: 33 cm. Photo courtesy Museum for African Art/Fundación Botín

vessels depicting a wide variety of human, animal, and otherworldly subjects. Some

6. Wunmonije Compound, Ife, Torso of a king, early-mid-16th century, copper alloy, h: 37 cm. Photo courtesy Museum for African Art/Fundación Botín.

retailed by J M Wendt, made by Julius Schomburgk Leading Australian silver expert throws new light on an elaborate silver centrepiece and the pair of accompanying tazzas made for the Dunedin Exhibition of 1865 fields, a second major discovery in 1862 did nothing to dissuade new hopefuls. Like many gold prospectors, professional businessmen made their way to the goldfields to establish services for the miners, including

the ornamentation, the artist has been more

stores, post offices, banks, pubs and hotels. The

successful than in his treatment of the tree-fern,

men who owned these businesses often made

the noble grace of which has not been realised.

SUBSTCO R NOWIBE

more money than the miners.

It was this Dunedin business community that

tree fern the Dixonia, the actual source of Wendt’s inspiration.

The connection between Wendt and the New

result of the gold rushes. It was to be the first

Zealand town of Dunedin is most likely to be

exhibition in New Zealand, a celebration by a city

John Lazar (1801-1879),1 Dunedin’s Town Clerk.

created by gold only seventeen years earlier.

The Exhibition Building is an example of the

John Hawkins

Zealand tree fern is no match for the Australian

decided to hold an exhibition in 1865 to show the merits of New Zealand and create new

business for those who were successful as a

The 1865 Dunedin Exhibition Building from the Illustrated London News

This is an unfortunate comment as the New

Lazar, who was born in Edinburgh, arrived in Sydney on 26 February 1837 under the name of

power of gold to create instant wealth. Among

Lazarus. He claimed to be a tailor and also to

the highlights were a candelabra epergne and

have appeared on the London stage. In 1848

two tazzas of outstanding quality made by the

Lazar became associated with George Selth

unedin, the Gaelic name for

Adelaide goldsmith J M Wendt (1830-1917). The

Coppin who had successfully established the

D

Plate from Illustrated Melbourne Post, 18 July1865, p. 100, showing Wendt’s exhibits at the Dunedin Exhibition: candelabra epergne, one of the smaller tazzas and the claret jug, engraved by Samuel Calvert before being taken to New Zealand. Samuel Calvert commenced his career in Adelaide where he arrived in 1848 leaving for Melbourne in 1852. Photo J B Hawkins Australian Silver Reference Library Julius Schomburgk (b. Germany 1812 arrived Australia 1850 d. 1893), maker, J.M. Wendt (b. Germany 1830 arrived Australia 1854 d. 1917), retailer, Lady Don Inkwell. The inkwell which was valued at 100 guineas, engraved by Calvert for the Illustrated Melbourne Post, and described as the testimonial to Lady Don. ‘Presented to Lady Don by the citizens of Adelaide as a token of respect and esteem.’ Photo J B Hawkins Australian Silver Reference Library

In the small city of Adelaide, Lazar would undoubtedly have come across Wendt. An

Edinburgh, was founded by the Lay

North Otago Times of 9 March 1865 described...

New Queen’s Theatre in Adelaide. John Lazar

Association of the Free Church of

tables containing splendid samples of

occupies an important place in that city’s

William and Lady Don, titled professional actors,

Scotland on the South Island of New

manufactures in the precious metals. Those

theatrical history since his was the first serious

which was highly unusual at this period. Sir

Zealand in 1848 and transformed by the

which attract most attention are a group from

theatrical enterprise undertaken.

William stood nearly 6ft 7in tall. They were

discovery of gold in central Otago, southwest of

Adelaide, manufactured by Mr Wendt, of that

Dunedin in 1861. By 1865 it had become the

city. As a guide in designing the central piece,

largest city in New Zealand. The rush started at Gabriel’s Gully, named after

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He enjoyed considerable popularity and was

inkwell retailed by Wendt was given to Sir

employed by the father of the Australian theatre,

frequently praised in contemporary newspapers

George Coppin, one time Adelaide partner of

which is a solid silver epergne and candelabrium,

for his endeavours both as a manager and as

John Lazar. The presentation was made by

Mr Wendt obtained from Otago samples of our

actor. In the 1850s Lazar established a jeweller’s

Samuel Lazar, son of John and also a theatre

Tasmanian born Gabriel Read who had

tree-fern and has used its forms for the principal

and silversmith’s business in Hindley Street,

manager and producer.2 The letters of

prospected for gold in both California and

standard of the piece. Around the base of this

Adelaide. He became active in local government,

presentation and acceptance were quoted in the

Victoria before arriving in Otago in 1861. He

fine piece of workmanship, sheep with their

becoming an alderman of the Adelaide City

newspaper. This presentation provides a further

discovered gold in a creek bed close to the

shepherds, emus, kangaroos, cattle, and horses,

Council in 1853 and mayor of Adelaide between

link between Coppin, John Lazar, his son Samuel and the firm of Wendt.

banks of the Tuapeka River near Lawrence on 20

are all depicted. The grass-tree of Australia, and

1855 and 1858. He retired from the Council in

May 1861. By Christmas of that year 14,000

a little creeping plant, are beautifully delineated.

1859 and in 1863 migrated to New Zealand

prospectors were on the Tuapeka and Waipori

In these and in the cornicopaes which complete

where he became the Town Clerk of Dunedin.

70 World of Antiques & Art

Significant silver centrepieces

An earlier inkwell, of comparable design, together with four silver mounted emu eggs also

World of Antiques & Art 71

Fresh research into masterworks which may be the only Australian suite made by a European craftsmen

World of Antiques & Art 80  

antiques, art deco, art nouveau, art, bronzes, ceramics, collectables, furniture, textiles, works of art

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