7 June 2018

Estate sale of Tattersalls heir set to be the biggest in Canberra’s history

| Amelia Stephenson
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Collection of long case clocks

The sale includes a large collection of antique long case clocks, with one William Kipling London clock estimated to date as far back as 1720. Photo: Canberra Antique Auctions.

When it comes to estate sales, it doesn’t get much bigger than this. Throughout June, we’ll witness the biggest estate auction in Canberra’s history as the estate of Tattersall’s heir, philanthropist and academic, Dr John Flynn, is auctioned and sold to the highest bidders.

According to a recent media release published by medianet, Dr Flynn was the son of Sydney solicitor Vincent John Flynn and Jean Marie Flynn (nee Adams), who was a known heiress to the famous Tattersall’s Lottery Sweepstakes which was founded by her great uncle George Adams.

In his own right, Dr Flynn was a scholar of Indian History and a graduate of the University of Sydney and the Australian National University, and was also a known for his philanthropic work having established a private charitable trust directed to the relief of poverty and education of disadvantaged persons of Indian decent.

Dr Flynn’s philanthropic aspirations will be continued with the sale of the estate, with the proceeds to be used to support the work of various charities and organisations including The National Trust of Australia (New South Wales) and Jesuit Mission Australia.

The auction which will comprise of more than 400 lots to be auctioned off progressively throughout June by Canberra Antique Auctions (a new division of well-known Canberra auction site ALLBIDS), will include an extensive collection of antiques, cabinets, bureaus, bookcases and other items that were housed in the historic Westridge House in Yarralumla and another of his residences in Campbell.

Westridge House in Yarralumla

Many of the items included in the sale were housed in the historic Westridge House in Yarralumla. Photo: Peter Blackshaw Real Estate.

One item of particular note that features in the sale is a 1905 Pleyel Double-Manual Harpsichord which was previously owned by Wanda Landowska, a Polish-born harpsichordist who helped initiate the revival of the harpsichord in the 20th century, which she famously played during her concerts throughout England from 1905-07. There are even early pictures in circulation including an autographed photo of her standing beside a harpsichord (if not this one) with the same distinctive checkerboard marquetry on the cheek and lid exterior.

Pleyel Double-Manual Harpsichord

A Playel Double-Manual Harpsichord previously owned by Wanda Landowska included in the estate sale. Photo: Canberra Antique Auctions.

Antique timepiece enthusiasts will also be impressed with the collection of long case clocks on offer, including a Mappin & Webb mahogany long case clock with tubular chime circa 1900, a William Kipling London long case clock circa 1720, a Thomas Hine of Fleet Street London long case clock circa 1768 and a Thomas Brown of Birmingham oak long case clock with London style hood circa 1780.

Other items of particular note include a George III Mahogany Bachelors Writing Chest with Lectern Circa 1780, a William IV Bowfront Mahogany Chest with Coromandel Crossbanding Circa 1835, an early Victorian Mahogany Reclining Armchair with Maroon Leather Upholstery Circa 1850, as well as a multitude of other cabinets, bureaus and bookcases.

To view the full collection of items included in the Flynn estate sale, visit the Canberra Antique Auctions website.

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