Australian auction house Mossgreen’s sale of Australian and international art and antiques was a great success for the company which will donate a percentage of funds from the auction to the National Trust Tasmania to assist with the upkeep of the many historic houses in Tasmania.
Held at the historic Tasmanian property Clarendon House, the sale featured a number of colonial works of art as well as rare pieces of colonial Australian furniture.
The highlight of the sale was Lot 23, a rare and important folio of botanical paintings by Miss Eliza Blyth (1820-1894) bearing Inter-colonial exhibition label, Tasmania 1866 no.560. Estimated to sell for between AUD$50,000–60,000, the final sale price was a fantastic AUD$61,000.
Very little is known about Miss Blyth except that, according to the Dictionary of Australian Artists Online, she kept a school in Macquarie Street, Hobart Town, from about 1855 to 1875 and in 1868 advertised lessons in perspective, watercolour drawing and sketching from Mrs Searl's school, Claremont House, Hobart Town.
Miss Blyth showed watercolour drawings of Tasmanian Flowers in the 1866 Melbourne Intercolonial Exhibition that were awarded a medal. She sent flower paintings and a view of Mount Wellington to the 1875 Victorian Intercolonial Exhibition.
When she exhibited flower paintings with the New South Wales Agricultural Society in 1875 and with the New South Wales Academy of Art in 1875-76, her first collection was highly commended and she won the academy's certificate of merit in 1876.
Two of Blyth’s botanical paintings are preserved in the Heritage Collection of the State Library of Tasmania.
Other highlights of the auction included:
Lot Number: 4
A rare and fine cedar drum work table, Australian, circa 1835
A rare Australian seaweed pattern oval plate from the Fereday service, Circa 1825
Lot Number: 14
View of Chester
Watercolour over pencil heightened with gum Arabic
40.5 x 60.5 cm
Lot Number: 21
John Barr Clarke Hoyte
Auckland Harbour, NZ
25 x 45 cm
Lot Number: 23
An important folio of botanical paintings by Miss Eliza Blyth (1820-1894) Bearing Inter-colonial exhibition label, Tasmania 1866 no.560 exhibited by Miss Blyth, residence Hobart Town.
Lot Number: 27
A good Colonial birds-eye huon-pine writing compendium, Tasmanian, circa 1850 with some ebony inlay 29cm high, 40.5cm wide, 17cm deep
Provenance: Private collection, Hobart, Tasmania
Lot Number: 28
A rare Australian cedar librarycbookcase, Australian, circa 1835 and later 232cm high, 228cm wide, 60cm deep
Provenance : The Nettlefold family, Tasmania
Lot Number: 29
An extraordinary large early colonial Tasmanian pine and gum farmhouse table, circa 1840. Top is made of one massive piece of Kauri pine, frame in gum, all pegged 76cm high, 460cm long, 88cm wide, 3cm thick table top
Provenance: Ballochmyle, Tasmania
Lot Number: 99
A fine cedar scrolled armchair, Australian, circa 1830 90cm high, 62cm wide, 69cm deep
Provenance: Private Collection Hobart Tasmania
Lot Number: 172
A pair of large and impressive carved white marble lions on stone pedestals, French, 18th/19th century. Lions 110cm high, pedestals 108cm high, 66cm square
Lot Number: 205
An exceptional pair of carved Carrara marble classical urns signed D. Molinari, Italian, circa 1900 74cm high, 56cm diameter with later white marble square pedestals, 78cm high, 33cm square
Lot Number: 607
Neopolitan School circa 1858
An album of 24 views of Naples and the region with inscribed views, painted in gouache each approximately 17 x 24cm
Provenance: The Third Lord Newborough
The full catalogue with results can be viewed here: