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The colourful world of Gerda Iro 'Gerdago' (1906-2004)

When we think of exquisite bronze figures of the 1920s and 1930s, the great names of Chiparus, Preiss, Lorenzl, come to mind.  But who was 'Gerdago'? 

'Gerdago' was the pseudonym of Viennese born Gerda Gottstein.  She received art training in both Berlin and Paris in the late 1920s and in the ensuing years designed costumes for theatre and revue performances where her work attracted the attention of Austrian film maker Willi Forst.

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The Miniaturist sale

Petronella Ourtmann's intricately decorated doll's house in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam inspired the book and subsequent compelling television series, 'The Miniaturist'.

Costing as much as an actual house, a dollshouse, such as Petronella's, was a luxury only available to the extremely wealthy in 17th and 18th century Holland and Germany. It was not a childish plaything, it was the woman of the household's domain, a domestic curiosity cabinet over which she was mistress just as she was with her household. Tiny objects of exquisite manufacture reflecting her life, her wealth, aspirations and above all, status, inhabited such dollshouses.

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Here's to a Great Year

What a wonderful year 2018 has been at Philips with so many exciting and successful auctions, plus several special and unique sales events including a triple auction in August and the magnificent offering in February of 160 lots of porcelain from a single estate.

The Philips December auction continued the trend and wrapped up the year in great style with fantastic results in all departments. Strong sales were achieved in furniture, silver and copper, and a wonderful range of decorative arts including figurines, tea services and vases.

As anticipated, a wonderful range of car mascots proved very popular with determined bidding driving sales well beyond estimate and delivering outstanding results. Two French examples performed particularly strongly due to their exotic design and the reputation of designers Rene Lalique and Henri Payen.

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Christmas at Philips

With Christmas just around the corner, the Philips December auction presents a great opportunity for quality gift shopping from a wide range of Decorative Arts and Jewellery. The final auction for 2018 is set for the festive season and includes a fantastic offering of exotic Anglo-Indian pieces, a range of delightful French furniture, woollen and silk rugs, a large number of fine artworks, and an impressive collection of high quality silverware.

From the estate of an Australian dentist who practiced in India during the early 1900’s comes a fascinating collection of interesting and unusual items. Several have been carved from rosewood including a striking floor elephant, an occasional table, a rectangular tray, a marquise shaped wall hanging, and a delightful elephant dinner gong. Of particular note, a vintage dentist’s cabinet comes equipped with many original tools and instruments for teeth cleaning, mould taking, and extractions.

dentist cabinet

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Music hits a high note!

The penultimate Philips auction for 2018 was a great success with terrific results in all categories, reflected in particularly good sales of silver, furniture and jewellery, plus a great deal of interest in a wide range of silver vinaigrettes and perfume bottles. Director, Tony Philips said “Nice quality items were available at realistic prices. Discerning buyers seek quality over quantity, and we are able to offer the cream of the crop, providing rewarding outcomes for buyers and sellers alike.”

Unusual items enjoyed popularity, including an extraordinary shoulder mounted taxidermic New Zealand red deer that shot beyond estimate, and a wonderful antique table music box with an inlaid walnut case that generated a lot of enthusiasm from buyers, and also hit a great note by selling well above expectations.

music box sold

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