After nearly two years in Sydney Leonard Joel will finally hold its first auction at its Woollahra office on Sunday.
The iconic auction house has been a staple in Melbourne for 95 years, and managing director John Albrecht said the time was right for the business to expand into auctions in New South Wales.
“It’s an exciting moment for the firm, and a slightly nerve-wracking one, as well.” he said. “But we are ecstatic to bring our expertise to Sydney. We see hundreds of incredible pieces come through the auction rooms daily. Each and every piece has a story, some with a compelling history.”
Mr Albrecht, in his fifth year at the helm of the business, said a broad and exciting range of ‘mantiques’, exquisite jewellery, objects d’art and classic antique furniture would be on offer at the Jewels & Objets D'Art Auction.
“We identified Sydney as a particular opportunity to develop a fine jewellery market, which is big for us in Victoria, as there is a gap in the New South Wales market. Fine jewellery auctions in Sydney do not occur in regularity as they do in Melbourne, which I find quite fascinating given the population difference,” Mr Albrecht said.
He said the Sydney office would offer a full service of all categories with a focus on the higher end of the markets in fine jewellery, fine art and single item auctions.
“The goal is to represent ourselves as national full-service auction house and the whole market in our world inhabits this space and most of the activity in the other states seems to make its way to Sydney or Melbourne. “
He said Sunday’s auction list was “typically eclectic” and would cover all categories, including international art and ceramics.
“It is a traditional catalogue auction in the sense it represents all the categories with a heavy focus on fine jewellery and objects rather than furniture.”
Included in the list is an Argyle Purple-Pink ring, an Art Deco Louis Vuitton gentleman’s valise and an original Pablo Picasso ceramic vase.
Last month, Leonard Joel conducted the auction of the estate of Australian artist Pro Hart, in which all 172 works were sold for more than $1.6 million, with many works fetching double their pre-sale estimate.
“That is very unusual for an entire collection to sell at auction,” Mr Albrecht said. “But that shows the power of the appeal people have for Pro Hart.”
The Jewels & Objets D'Art Auction will be held in Sydney at the Intercontinental on Sunday August 24 at 1pm.