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Leonard Joel

A Connoisseur’s Library

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A Connoisseur’s Library

Andrew Sibley (1933-2015) was a noted English-born Australian artist whose work featured heavily in the Archibald, Wynne and Blake prizes.  Migrating to Australia from London in 1948, he first worked in rural Queensland before serving with the Royal Australian Navy in Papua New Guinea.  Sibley received great praise and international success. An artist from the 1960s until his death, his work features in public and private collections, both within Australia and around the world. Sibley has been exhibited at the Tate Gallery, the Paris Biennale, the National Gallery of Victoria and his work is held in the collection of the Australian Embassy in Washington.

Critic and curator Doug Hall noted at Sibley’s death that “from the start til the end he didn’t flip or flop according to fashion. He was a belligerent figurative painter, and we all admired him for it”. Sibley’s idiosyncratic style was shaped by European influences but he refused to bend to popular taste.

Thirty-two bookplates by Andrew and Irena Sibley is a limited edition book, produced in three different versions, comprising a total of just one hundred and thirty six copies. The edition featured in the ‘Connoisseur’s Library’ auction this month is the publisher’s special version, a bespoke run of just sixteen. The bound book contains a signed and hand coloured original drawing by Sibley. Thirty-two bookplates also comprises the titular bookplates, each hand coloured and signed, together with sixteen bookplates by Sibley’s wife, Irena, an accomplished artist in her own right. Volume one of the two-volume book is magnificently bound in ostrich skin and the two editions are housed in a custom clamshell box, embellished with gilt lettering.

‘A Connoisseur’s Library’ auction also includes other limited edition and rare art books, historical reference and contemporary groupings, together with pieces of library furniture.

Nora Merralls
Collectables Manager


A Connoisseur’s Library Auction
Thursday 5 July, 2pm, Melbourne

Melbourne Viewing
333 Malvern Rd, South Yarra VIC
Wednesday 4 July, 9am-8pm

Melbourne Enquiries
Nora Merralls
Collectables Manager
03 8825 5625
nora.merralls@leonardjoel.com.au

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