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Desirable Objects Gallery
  • 75 A Tucker Road Bentleigh,Victoria 3204
  • Australia
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Amanda Addams Auctions Pty/Ltd 251 Jasper Road McKinnon 3204 Sunday 7th June 2020 at 12.00 pm Viewing; Saturday 6th June 11 am to 5 pm. (Restricted viewing o...
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Amanda Addams April 2020 Auction Details Auction Date - 12th April 2020 at 12.30 pm Viewing Times: Saturday 11th April 11am to 5pm Sunday 12th April 10am - 1...
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Sunday 15th December 2019 at 1 pm Important and outstanding onsite contents auction Onsite at 75 a Tucker Road, Bentleigh, Victoria. Viewing: Saturday 14th D...
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Sunday 17th November 2019 at 12.30 pm Important and outstanding onsite contents auction 251 Jasper Road McKinnon, Victoria. Viewing: Saturday 16th November 1...
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Sunday 7th July 2019 at 12.30 pmImportant and outstanding onsite contents auction251 Jasper Road McKinnon, Victoria.Viewing: Saturday 6th July 11 am to 5 pm- Sunday 7th 10am -12.15 pmUnder instructions from various homes, estates and collections…
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David has been a compulsive collector since he was a child. At the tender age of nine, he attended his first auction at Munyards auction rooms in a Melbourne suburb, where he bid on a 19th-century mantle clock by the famous American company, Ansonia.

David was bidding against adults and, although not too sure of what he was doing, he beat them all to the final bid. In 1960, 2 shillings and 6 pence (25 U.S. cents) was a fortune to a nine year old. To this day, David can recall the adrenaline rush.

As a collector, one has to wheel and deal and David learned this very early on. He kept the clock with numerous other collections that he accumulated over the years; it was more than a clock to him. It was a trophy.

In order to become a discerning collector and build a great collection, one has to first purchase a lot of garbage. Over the past three decades, David have built numerous collections, from Doulton Lambeth ceramic wares of England, to Australian pottery, to German WMF figurines. He has also collected art works by Australian social realist artists; Scandinavian etched glass; small clocks; trinket boxes; and Italian and Scandinavian studio pottery from Art Deco to the late 1970s. David keeps adding on, as there is always something different to collect. But wherever his interests have taken him, his love of all things Art Deco has remained unchanged.

Of the numerous styles of Art Deco, it is Nubian figurines manufactured in studios or workshops in Austria and Germany from the 1920 to 1950 that David loves the most. Pivotal to the creation of these collectable figures – named from the Ancient nomads that ruled the River Nile through to Egypt and Northern Sudan was the wide adoption “exotic” elements into Art Deco designs in Europe, especially in colonial powers like France. European Artists and Designers influencing the development of Modernism embraced ancient or non-western objects, such as Far Eastern, Egyptian or African art, their stylized forms.

Art Deco Nubians

The vogue for what was known as l’art Nègre reached its height in 1920s Paris, especially in the cabaret world, where African Americans had already dazzled Parisians with le Jazz and a wild new dance called the Charleston.

In 1925, musicians and dancers from Harlem, New York, assembled at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris to perform in La Revue Nègre. The most idolized was Josephine Baker (1906-1975), a petite pretty dancer from St. Louis, Missouri. An instant sensation from the moment she entered the stage, Baker was destined to become an icon of the era. For the first time in modern Europe, black was beautiful.

David's collection, which has taken many years to build, started with a Bakelite calling-card stand depicting Josephine Baker that David convinced a reluctant friend and dealer to sell to him. He acquired his first bronze Nubian figurine while on vacation in Tasmania, when he went to a gallery to purchase a painting, and the Nubian was thrown in as a bonus after much haggling. Today, it is the Nubian that is most dear to David.

The male figures are regal and manly with their spears and shields. But it is the female figures that captivate David with their beauty. Some wear bracelets, neck rings or huge earrings; some grass skirts; and other hold implements or a child. David's favourite medium for these figures is bronze, but he has pieces in ceramic, terra cotta, pottery and wood. They differ greatly from artist to artist, each with his or her own flavour and interpretation.

The factories that most of David's Nubian pieces come from were much celebrated in the Art Deco period. He has Anzengruber and Goldscheider ceramics from Austria (about 50 figures, heads and busts) and also Ravelli Nubian Ceramics from the early 1950s. But his favourite examples are Nubians Bronzes by Hagenauer of Vienna Austria.


Austrian designer Carl Hagenauer established Hagenauer Werkstatten in 1898 and produced decorative metal wares and bronzes designed in-house in the modernist and Jugendstil styles.

His factory, which exported its wares worldwide, also manufactured pieces by independent designers, such E. J. Meckel, Josef Hoffmann and Otto Prutscher.

Hagenauer entered many exhibitions in London, Paris and Berlin, where its innovative designs won numerous awards.

Carl’s son Karl (1898-1956) joined the firm in 1919. After Carl’s death in 1928, Karl and his brother Franz (1906-1986) expanded the workshop and began modelling and manufacturing African-inspired sculptures. The figurines were lithe and elegant, with elongated limbs and faces and elaborate hairstyles. They embodied the European concept of the inherent decorative quality and spontaneous creativity of Africa.

Collecting Hagenauer

At the entry level are Hagenauer’s African stick figures, typically in tribal costume and carrying metal or wood implements; Hagenauer also made African and domestic animals that were produced in the 1920s, 1930s and again after World War 2 through to early 1950s, reflecting popular interest in the continuation of colonialism.

More desirable are the larger wood and metal African figures and busts, with stylized bodies and sculptural poses. The most valuable are distinctly Art Deco-style designs of African inspiration. Masks, some on a scale similar to authentic African masks, consist of multiple elements and materials; they often echo Pablo Picasso’s works.

Hagenauer also created Western figurines, although these are less common. They include figures in stylish costumes, mainly in sheet metal or brass, often on a large scale for use in shop displays. When consumer demand for furniture grew after WWII, Hagenauer began to produce furniture. After Karl Hagenauer’s death in 1956, his brother, Franz, who taught at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, continued the workshop until 1986, making new designs that are considered authentic Hagenauer pieces.

In the 1980s and 1990s, fake reproductions produced in Great Britain, such as sheet metal or brass figures and large African busts in chrome and gilt brass, abounded. Fakes were also made 50 and 60 years ago in some South American countries. Even major auction houses have unwittingly sold fakes.

RR on the base stands for Richard Rohac, who left Hagenauer after World War II to make his own interpretation of popular works. The collector must be wary of confusing these initials for Hagenauer’s production for Rena Rosenthal from the mid 1930s to the early 1950s, destined for her gift shop at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York; the Rosenthal pieces were impressed with the name “Rena.” Hagenauer manufactured many of the items sold by Rena Rosenthal to her design and price structure. She also used Richard Rohac to manufacture lines for her shop, as Rohac items were slightly inferior and inexpensive compared to Hagenauer items.

Hagenauer reproductions that have been made from original castings are acceptable to Hagenauer collectors as true reproductions, not fakes, and they are more affordable than the limited-run originals. Still, larger Hagenauer reproduction figures and busts can cost up to $30,000. Ron Hagenauer, Karl’s grandson, sells Hagenauer items in the Galerie Hagenauer in Vienna, ranging from about two to 70 inches in height. He has plans to publish a book and organize a retrospective exhibition of Hagenauer Werkstatten.

David's collecting advice

David's advice to budding Hagenauer collectors: seek professional advice and only afterwards purchase any rare items, even though they may be accompanied by impeccable provenance. If you were planning to collect Hagenauer items, now is the time to start, as the prices begin to rise.

Quittenbaum Auctions in Munich sold the Philippe Perroud Hagenauer collection in April 2010, producing an informative catalogue as well. Among the 329 items in the collection were numerous larger Nubians, busts and figures, some of which achieved outstanding prices, several times their original estimate. The most stunning price was an 8-inch-high figure called Ashanti, produced in late 1940s. Estimated at 800 to 960 Euros, it sold for 11,000 Euros plus buyer’s premium. (I purchased a similar figure from a dealer in Vienna in 2008 for $1,150.)
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We are offering to all clients a special zero commission rate for the sale of any individual items of $5000 and above for our Auctions in the months of October, November or December, if you wish to consign for our October 7th auction, we require the items in within the next 6 days, please contact us on 9855 2255 / 0419 578184 / 0419 361753 for more enquires or to consign your special item into our auction.

Posted on September 16, 2013 at 8:15pm



Amanda Addams Auctions ---- 6th May 2013----Auction starts 6.30 pm.


 Under instructions of Estate of E. P. Wilkinson, major collections from Kew, Camberwell, Blackburn, Glen Iris, Ballarat, Balwyn North and Forest Hill plus Tatts Group Ltd- Melbourne.

Viewing Saturday 4th May 11- 4 pm. Monday 6th May 12 noon…


Posted on April 25, 2013 at 7:17am

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At 8:52am on August 24, 2013, vintagerecycling said…

welcome to the vintage greeting card group! we love to see your cards!

vintage greeting card love Iantique

I feel like I already know you from watching your videos! they're great fun!

jen vintagerecycling

At 10:10am on February 12, 2013, C. Dianne Zweig Editor's Desk said…

beat it

Happy Valentines Day From Kitsch n Stuff

At 10:55am on July 21, 2011, Craig Phillips / B & C Emporium said…

welcome to the antique furniture group, post a pic or 2 make some comments or just enjoy, welcome to a new bigger family

Craig Phillips

B & C Emporium antiques and original hardware



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