Sir Joseph Banks' Collecting Cabinets priced A$350,000

Bonhams will auction the Owston Collection in Sydney on June 25, 26 and 27. The sale will be held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay, overlooking the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Bonhams won the right to sell the collection in its entirety as a single-owner sale titled "The Owston Collection" following tough competition from local and international auctioneers.

The Owston Collection includes a stunning array of fine English and Continental Furniture & Works of Art, Silver, Clocks, Pictures, Art Nouveau, Aboriginal Art, and Japanese Art.

A cockerel and other decorative fowl
by Melchior de Hondecoeter will be
in the sale

The sale will also showcase highly important Russian furniture and silver. Items from the collection will be shown at Bonhams salerooms in the USA and Europe.

Highlights include Sir Joseph Banks collector's cabinets, estimated to sell for A$250,000-350,000 - a highly important set of twelve mahogany collectors cabinets.

Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820, pictured top right) was a British explorer, naturalist and later long-time president of the Royal Society, famed for his tireless promotion of the natural sciences.

Banks also arranged Captain Bligh's expedition aboard HMS Bounty which ended in the famous mutiny.

The auction will be held over three days, with a significant number of items offered with "no reserve", providing an extra attraction to buyers to attend the sale.

"Australia is a market we strongly believe in and it's a real privilege to be entrusted with such an important sale," said Bonhams Chairman, Robert Brooks.

The last Great Bustard shot on Salisbury Plain will appear in the sale

"Single collection sales on this scale are incredibly rare and the Owston Collection gives us a great opportunity to show just what we can do."

According to Bonhams, its future sales in Australia will include specific car auctions, following its recent classic automobile successes at Retromobile in Paris and Oxford.

Bonhams isn't the only leading auction house to move further into Australia's markets in 2010.

Sotheby's is currently in the process of securing a buyer for the coveted $900,000-valued Argyle diamond, the first-ever red diamond to auction in Australia.


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