Antiques & Collectables

Our purchase - Impressionist art work J.S. Watkins

What adventures have you had through the last month? 

For about two months now we, Jenny and I, have been organising an auction of items that we have collected over the last forty years. Choosing, organising, numbering, cataloguing, photographing each item, co-ordinating with the auctioneer we employ for the day, advertising, viewings and waiting for the big day (which was the 17th September at Taree Show ground). A successful day after lots of work.

I still have a couple of sheds full to disperse, but I am gradually getting the quantity down, much to Jenny’s and our children’s pleasure. “Dad, we won’t know what to do with this stuff when you have gone!” Hence the auctions. I am still finding interesting things, but have slowed down with my purchasing.

When going through the sheds, I still pick up lots of items and have to put them down again, because I can’t part with them just yet. One day! Collecting is a hobby that can become a wonderful lifetime passion. It has for me!

If you go to an auction and really want to enjoy your purchases, here is some advice that might help you to enjoy the experience more:

•  View the auction site or go to viewing day

•  Print off or purchase the catalogue

•  Mark the items that interest you

•  Come to a viewing day and make sure the item is in the condition that suits

•  Have an idea of how much you want to spend on your items

•  Have a bid on the items that interest you

•  Stay until the end – often the best bargains are there

Something to remember if you can’t attend, or can’t stay at the auction, is to organise an Absentee bid – you don’t have to be at the auction to bid. The Auctioneer will try to get that item at the best price below your highest bid. Absentee bidding is set up by phone or email, or can be organised on viewing days at the Registration Table. Phone bidding is another option – usually on larger, more expensive items. You just contact the Auctioneer.

Our auction was successful with a big crowd enjoying the day. Our next auction will be in April and/or September 2018. Thanks to all those who attended.

My special item for this month was purchased only a couple of weeks ago. I was offered a painting which I really liked from the first viewing. It is an Impressionist work from the early 1900s. The gent and I agreed on a price and it was time to do a bit of research. The artist was J. S. Watkins (1866-1942) who studied art in Paris and moved to Sydney in 1893. Watkins later exhibited nine works at London’s Grafton Gallery in their 1898 ‘Exhibition of Australian Art in London’.

From 1896-98, Watkins established an art school in Sydney on the floor above Julian Ashton’s art school at 88 King Street. Watkins’ class included lessons in drawing and painting as well as a life and outdoor class. Over the following forty years,  his school relocated a further five times around the northern parts of central Sydney.

During June 1943, a lone memorial exhibition of sixty-two works was held at the National Art Gallery of NSW. In April 1976, the artist’s widow sold her collection at the Bloomfield Galleries, Paddington, Sydney. He is remembered as an early pioneer of Australian art. A wonderful find!

I recommend collecting to all. Find the category that suits you or take the plunge and collect a wide variety of unique and interesting treasures or limit yourself to one area. It is always fun and can be profitable.

If you have items you are not sure of, I may be able to help with information, appraisals or sales. I love the history and stories of old and interesting items. Ring Rex – 0427 880 546.

Remember one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

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