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Our suspicions confirmed: Canberrans seriously love antique furniture

By Amelia Stephenson 28 June 2018 1
Canberrans have been dominating sales during the Flynn estate auction to date. Photo: Canberra Antique Auctions.

Canberrans have been dominating sales during the Flynn estate auction to date. Photo: Canberra Antique Auctions.

Since we last featured the Tattersall’s heir estate sale, our suspicions have been confirmed—Canberrans have a serious appreciation for fine antique furniture.

Over the last month, we’ve seen buyers with a keen eye for antique pieces snap up more than 100 lots of antique furniture which were sent to auction as part of the famed Flynn estate sale. If you haven’t yet heard about it, the sale which is arguably the biggest estate auction in Canberra’s history, came from the estate of Tattersall’s heir, philanthropist and academic, Dr John Flynn.

The popularity of the sale among local buyers came as somewhat of a surprise to the team conducting the auction at Canberra Antique Auctions (CBRAA) (a new division of well-known Canberra auction site ALLBIDS), with Appraiser Angus Bowers taken slightly aback with the response they’ve seen coming from Canberrans.

“It’s been really interesting to see how many people in Canberra have embraced this opportunity. We were told by local dealers that the markets for these sort of items were in Melbourne and Sydney and that dealers from around the country would dominate the buying”, Angus said.

“But that hasn’t been the case. It’s actually private buyers from Canberra that have been dominating the bidding so far, picking up more than 70 per cent of the ageless pieces that have gone to auction.”

“It’s been really encouraging to hear that buyers are purchasing items not only to use in heritage-style homes in older suburbs, but a number of buyers have been investing in accent antique pieces to furnish their contemporary living spaces.”

To date, the estate sale has seen a good mix of results. Buyers of items including a William IV Bowfront Mahogany Chest, George III Sheraton Inlaid Mahogany Secretaire and a Regency Period Lyre Back Mahogany Commode got an absolute bargain, while other items including a George IV Mahogany and Satinwood Secretaire Chest and Superb George IV Mahogany Drawing Room Chair sparked intense bidding wars.

A George IV Mahogany Secretaire Chest that sparked a bidding war when sent to auction last Thursday. Photo: Canberra Antique Auctions.

A George IV Mahogany Secretaire Chest that sparked a bidding war when sent to auction last Thursday. Photo: Canberra Antique Auctions.

With another three auctions to be held each Thursday evening over the next three weeks, there are still more than 200 lots of tables and other items and over 60 bookcases and sideboards waiting to be snapped up in the weeks to come.

“Normally antique pieces like these come on the market as single items or pairs of items, but this sale has seen an unprecedented number of items up for sale side-by-side”, Angus said. “Canberra has never seen such an extensive high-quality collection altogether like this. It really is still a buyers’ market for these type of antiques and many buyers realise that these items will be worth significantly more in 10 to 30 years’ time”.

An exceptional Regency Period Sheraton Inlaid Mahogany Sideboard that will be sold to the highest bidder this Thursday evening. Photo: Canberra Antique Auctions.

An exceptional Regency Period Sheraton Inlaid Mahogany Sideboard that will be sold to the highest bidder this Thursday evening. Photo: Canberra Antique Auctions.

With various rare and interesting items including a Rosewood Extending George IV Brazilian Davenport (a hardwood which is now on the endangered species list), a Regency Mahogany Triple Pillar Dining Table (which it’s reported that Paul Keating was negotiating on to add to the lodge before it ended up at Westridge House) and a Regency Period Mahogany Sideboard yet to be auctioned, there’s still time for you to get in on the action.

Even more, the proceeds of the estate sale will be donated to charities and organisations including The National Trust of Australia (New South Wales) and Jesuit Mission Australia, making your purchase that little bit sweeter.

View the full collection of items yet to be auctioned unreserved on the CBRAA website here.

This is a sponsored article, though all opinions are the author’s own. For more information on paid content, see our sponsored content policy.


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Our suspicions confirmed: Canberrans seriously love antique furniture
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HiddenDragon 5:55 pm 28 Jun 18

“…..private buyers from Canberra that have been dominating the bidding so far, picking up more than 70 per cent of the ageless pieces that have gone to auction.”

Very pleasing to see, and a nice counter to the notion – advanced at times, for various motives and reasons – that classy items such as this must be sent up or down the highway to find suitable homes.

The new antiques website created by All Bids is a truly impressive piece of work, so let’s hope it gets many further worthy consignments.

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