Australia’s most popular and eclectic weekly auction has a new name, Thursdays at Leonard Joel, but that’s all that’s changed. The Furniture, Jewels, Art Salon & Collectables sessions will all continue to take place at their usual time every week.
We recently asked specialist, Maxine Winning, who manages Objects & Collectables, to provide an insight into her typical day at Leonard Joel.
Is there a typical day for you at Leonard Joel?
Every day, we deal with objects, people and personalities from all walks of life. As Thursdays at Leonard Joel feature so many eclectic pieces, no two days are the same, though they always run by the same formula. Every Monday and Friday we consign items – it’s always exciting to see what treasure may come in. On Tuesday’s we merchandise our rooms, lot our sales and finalise our catalogues, making sure everything to be sold that week is perfectly placed and accurately described. On Wednesdays we are open for viewing, so it’s the day we mingle with our clients and answer queries. Thursday’s are personally my favourite day, with so many auctions running concurrently the building is always a buzz with excitement.
Do you have a favourite designer/maker or period of time?
I have a penchant for all things Deco and am a big fan of the Aesthetic Movement. Artists such as Clarice Cliff never fail to grab my attention and inspire me to create.
What is the most exciting piece that has come through the doors of Leonard Joel to the collectables team?
There are all sorts of highlights, from Tsukioka Yoshitoshi’s One Hundred Aspects of the Moon to a rather cheeky earthenware piece by Alex Leckie. However I would have to stay the stand out piece for me was a Burmese sword that sold for $25,000 late last year.
Is there a particular piece or style that stands the test of time?
Personally, I would say anything designed by Christopher Dresser. It’s remarkable how stylistically succinct his design still is, even now in the age of contemporary. He was a true aesthetic visionary.
Why do you think Thursdays at Leonard Joel are so popular?
They are such a great place for new and established collectors, dealers and private buyers alike, a melting pot of activity. Whether it’s for decoration or investment there really is something for everyone.
What is your favourite part of managing the Collectables team?
I love the stories behind the objects and the handling of curious pieces of history. Every day you hear a new anecdote and every day you learn something new.