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A gracious collection of colonial art and European furniture goes to auction

Melbourne surgeon the late Max Sizeland and his late wife Wendy built an enviable reputation as longtime collectors of colonial and modern Australian art and quality European furniture that adorned their South Yarra home.

Over many years, auctioneer Phil Caldwell loved dealing with the Sizelands as they assiduously developed their collection into one of the finest to grace the Melbourne scene – and now has been asked auction the estate online from 11am Sunday November 14 at 239 Wickham Road, Moorabbin.

Limited viewing will be by appointment on Friday November 12 and Saturday November 13 and all bidding will be online, over the phone or via absentee bids.

A major estate highlight will be one of the largest Australian watercolours ever painted, by Albert Henry Fullwood (1863-1930) who worked with the Heidelberg School alongside iconic colleagues Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton and made a significant contribution to Australian art. Born in Birmingham, in 1883 Fullwood migrated to Sydney where he obtained work as a lithographic draughtsman and designer before joining the Art Society of New South Wales and helping to establish the Society of Artists.

Going back to Europe in 1900 by way of New York where he held a successful exhibition, Fullwood exhibited in 1901 and 1904 at London’s Royal Academy and later became an official Australian war artist – returning to Sydney in 1920 – and is now represented in several Australian and overseas galleries. Painted in 1899, the auction painting (lot 89) features an historic bridge and buildings in Sydney’s harbourside suburb Mosman and in 1963 was featured in the Art Gallery of New South Wales exhibition celebrating the 175th anniversary of the city’s founding as an English penal colony.

Other attractions are several James Alfred Turner (1850-1908) paintings depicting Australian colonial life including a pair of works showing a snake entering a camp (lot 90). Born in Yorkshire, Turner arrived in Victoria before 1874, recording in painstaking detail the life and daily pursuits of the small rural settler in the mountain ranges north and north-east of Melbourne.

An early 19th century Viennese enamel and ormolu table comprising a seven-panel top (lot 54) is one of the major estate furniture pieces. According to Phil Caldwell, the table displays such fine detail it will probably be snapped up by an overseas buyer and end up in London or New York. “There also are several top European bronze sculptures on offer,” he said. “Another highlight is a square porcelain Vienna wall plaque (lot 83) showing a semi-naked woman bathing.” Eye-catching items from other estates also are bound to catch the attention of auction goers.

These include a rare circa 1805 Napoleonic imperial Sevres coffee set and several Royal Worcester porcelain pieces by such iconic artists as Harry Davis and George Owen (lot 79). Quality silver including Russian Faberge is another attraction along with diamond, sapphire and ruby rings, necklaces and bangles, watches and antique clocks. One of the more intriguing auction items is a painting of the Sorrento Back Beach Palace in the 1880s by Australian artist Henry Tibbits – which is almost identical to his work in the State Library of Victoria. The painting clearly illustrates Victorian period holiday accommodation and shows the steam train that ran at the time from Sorrento back beach to its bayside equivalent. Advertising slogans on the painting refer to the “one minute walk for the most romantic, grand and weird coast and ocean scenery in Victoria”.