LO­CAL GEMS

Country Style - - COLLECTABLES -

Last year a mid-19th-cen­tury sil­ver-and-gold bracelet by C.L. Quist, of Syd­ney, sold in Eng­land for $116,000. This was an in­di­ca­tion of how scarce good Aus­tralian jew­ellery of the pe­riod has be­come and what a col­lec­tor might have to pay to buy a fifine ex­am­ple. Some more ad­ven­tur­ous col­lec­tors have turned to the still in­ex­pen­sive fi­field of Aus­tralian arts and crafts jew­ellery to sat­isfy their collecting urge. Many peo­ple look for jew­ellery by Rhoda Wager, who worked in Syd­ney, J.W.R. Lin­ton and his son James Lin­ton in Perth, or Harold Sar­gi­son in Ho­bart, all of whom pro­duced im­pres­sive ex­am­ples. There are also en­thu­si­as­tic col­lec­tors who re­search and col­lect the work of their lesser-known con­tem­po­raries. How­ever, these too are be­com­ing rare and some are turn­ing their at­ten­tion to more re­cent and vin­tage jew­ellery. In­stead of Ge­org Jensen jew­ellery, some devo­tees of Aus­tralian craft are seek­ing out the work of Larsen and Lew­ers — the hus­band and wife team work­ing in Syd­ney from the 1960s. Their el­e­gant sil­ver jew­ellery has be­gun to ap­pear at auc­tion and is sold at rea­son­able prices. Oth­ers are look­ing for jew­ellery made dur­ing the craft re­vival of the 1970s and 1980s. Work by Ray Nor­man, who es­tab­lished the craft at the Sturt work­shop in Mittagong, and Matcham Skip­per, who worked in the artist colony at Montsal­vat out of Mel­bourne, is oc­ca­sion­ally seen at auc­tion. For those in­ter­ested in con­tem­po­rary jew­ellery, Gallery Fu­naki in Mel­bourne ex­hibits some of the best work be­ing pro­duced to­day.

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