Byōbu (屏風, lit. ‘wind wall’) are Japanese folding screens made from several joined panels…

Byōbu (屏風, lit. ‘wind wall’) are Japanese folding screens made from several joined panels…

…bearing decorative painting and calligraphy. Monumental and unique in scale in the world of art for bold designs and compositions – often ahead of Western art in the context of comparative art history especially in the development in decoration and design.

Coveted by connoisseurs, Kazari offers rare artworks once commissioned by Japan’s elite and Samurai, symbols of wealth and power. Now prized in museums globally, these statement pieces adorn residential and corporate spaces, echoing timeless elegance.

Often used to bring…

nkisi-nkondi altar spirits carved from coquilla nut

J. B. HAWKINS ANTIQUES

A very rare group of three nkisi-nkondi altar spirits carved from coquilla nuts, as nailed power figures, awakened and activated by the horseshoe nails. Carved by a Bantu living in Brazil of Kongolese descent, circa 1860. They epitomise the intensity of the Black African syncretic but little understood world of ancestors and spirits. Collection and image copyright, J. B. Hawkins Antiques. Photographer Wayne Enright. Deloraine.

Three village community Bantu nailed Kongo nkisi nkondi, power figures,…

CERAMIC COLLECTORS SOCIETY, Founded 1949

The Ceramic Collectors Society was founded on the 13th of September 1949, by a small group of antique dealers and ceramic collectors in Sydney.  Its aim is to promote appreciation and knowledge of ceramic art and to form a meeting ground for all those interested in ceramics.  

In 2024 the society celebrates its 75th-Anniversary year and will have a special public lecture and a luncheon to celebrate that milestone on Sunday the 15th of September 2024 in the Sydney CBD.

Professor Andrew Montana, author of “The Art Movement in Australia –…

The Johnston Collection at the AAADA Antiques & Art Fair Melbourne

This past April the Australian Antique & Art Dealers Association held its annual Antiques & Art Fair Melbourne. With thousands of visitors immersing themselves in the refined world of antiques in the historic Malvern Town Hall. They explored distinctive collections for purchase, unwound with Scotchmans Hill Evening Drinks, engaged in insightful tours, and appraisals to elevate their experience.

This year we were honoured to have our new Partners The Johnston Collection join us to celebrate our appreciation for antiques & art. Joining forces with our guest Decorator, and

ENGLISH SILVER FOR WRITING

DR ALISON M HOLLOWAY

Little is recorded of silver, used in England for writing, before the time of the Commonwealth (1649-1660). There are references to two standishes in the inventory of plate belonging to King Henry VIII dated 1520. One is of Spanish origin, the other probably English marked with a lion.

Sir Robert Cecil’s inventory dated 1612 lists silver plate at the houses of Theobalds and Hatfield. It groups “white plate commonly used in the house” into different categories including “silver for writing”. Sir Robert had two silver standishes,…

HYAKUMANTŌ DHĀRAṆĪ (百万塔陀羅尼): THE EARLIEST RELIABLY DATABLE PRINTED TEXT

DOUGLAS STEWART

The Hyakumantō Dhāraṇī is the earliest printed text to have survived in Eastern or Western cultures that can be verifiably dated, predating the movable type of Gutenberg by some seven centuries.

In the year 764 CE, the Empress Shōtoku (称徳天皇) commissioned one million (hyakuman) miniature wooden pagodas (tō) for distribution to ten major Buddhist temples in Japan. Known collectively as the Hyakumantō (百万塔), each contained a small scroll on rice paper with a Buddhist mantra or prayer (dhāraṇī), which was most likely printed on a bronze tablet -…

FRANK HYAMS THE NEW ZEALAND WATCHMAKER & JEWELLER – GREENSTONE CANDLESTICKS

JOHN HAWKINS

Between 1885 and 1905 Frank Hyams ran a watchmaking and jewellery business in Princess Street, Dunedin. When his first wife Elle Hallenstein died in 1895, he married her London-based cousin Hilda in 1897 and he moved to London in 1898. The Hallensteins founded a clothing, retail and manufacturing empire in Otago with 34 stores throughout New Zealand by 1900. In New Zealand in 1901 he had made the gift from…

TASMANIAN ABORIGINAL (PAKANA) SHELL NECKLACES

ANNE SCHOFIELD

Antique jewellery dealer Anne Schofield recently exhibited a collection of rare Aboriginal shell necklaces from Tasmania, which were on show in June at her Woollahra gallery.

A tradition of adornment extends from the oldest living culture on Earth, and continues unbroken to this day. That’s what excites me about Tasmanian shell necklaces. My love of these delicate jewels began back in the 1990s when I first saw a display of specimens dated about 1870 at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston.

A PRESENTATION CASKET WITH CARVINGS BY JOHN K. BLOGG, 1915

SARAH GUEST

The box seen here shows the superb carving of John Kendrick Blogg, a successful and entrepreneurial industrial chemist who was born in 1851 in Canada, settled in the Surrey Hills region of Victoria in 1877 and died in 1936. His day job involved making perfumes and extracting essential oils. Family legend has it that he began making furniture and ornamental wooden carvings after the death of his first wife, Annie, in 1893. This box carries several examples of his carving and, in terms of Australiana, is as good as it gets.

KING ALBERT’S ‘BIRTHDAY BOOK’, 1915

JOHN WADE

After Albert I King of the Belgians refused safe passage to Kaiser Wilhelm’s troops to attack France, Germany invaded neutral Belgium on 4 August 1914. Britain, bound by an 1839 treaty to support Belgium’s neutrality, declared war on Germany the same day. Australian Prime Minister Joseph Cook offered his government’s support to the British Empire.

The invaders captured much of Belgium including the capital Brussels. King Albert, as Commander of the Army, rallied the nation and delayed the German…

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