Australian Historical Art Fund & Heritage Government Residences

Opus 285a, 1973

Sydney, NSW
Robert Edward Klippel (1920-2001)
Brazed steel
Height: 32 cms

Robert Klippel has been described as Australia’s greatest sculptor and was one the most significant sculptors of his generation internationally.

Provenance:"The W.R. Burge Collection of Australian and International Pictures and Sculpture”, Christies, Sydney, 6 March 2006, lot.36

Truth, 1894

Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal (1863-1931)
Height: 60.8cm

Born in Melbourne in 1863 and later studying at the National Gallery School in Melbourne, Mackennal left for England in 1882 as one of the exodus of important Australian artists to Europe. Mackennal subsequently studied at the Royal Academy School in London. It was difficult at this time to find training or make a living as an artist, especially as a sculptor in Australia. Travelling to Europe and setting up a studio in Paris, Mackennal, was advised and instructed by the famous symbolist sculptor Auguste Rodin. Mackennal exhibited his lifesize sculpture of "Circe", the mythological goddess who had the ability to turn men into animals, in Paris and London. Mackennal was forced to cover the naked figures on the sculpture's base by the Royal Academy, London in 1894. The resulting scandal made Mackennal famous.


Moonbird, 1999

Inge King (1918-)
Cast bronze
Width: 220cm Height: 130cm Depth: 240cm

The Inge King sculpture, "Moonbird 1999" is a work cast in bronze and inspired by the notion of a bird and the moon. To quote King's biographer Judith Trimble: "King's geometric abstractions challenge the viewer to explore the formal relations of space in and around her work and to consider the figurative allusions made in her titles."


The Visit of Hope to Sydney Cove, 1789, c.1870

Henry Apperley (1817-1880)
Plaster "bas relief" copy after Henry Webber (1754-1826)
Diameter: 42cm

In 1789, Governor Phillip sent a sample of clay from Sydney Cove to Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society, London. Banks in turn sent the clay to his fellow member and friend Josiah Wedgwood to test its suitability for making pottery. The original Sydney Cove Medallion designed in 1789 by Henry Webber (1754-1826), in the collection of the National Museum of Australia, has the full title Hope encouraging Art and Labour, under the influence of Peace, to pursue the employments necessary to give security and happiness to an infant settlement. It is sometimes referred to by the Wedgwood family as the Botany Bay medal.

This version modelled by Henry Apperley in 1870 is larger than the original, it depicts ‘Hope’ as a female figure in Grecian-style robes, in front of an anchor (the symbol for hope). ‘Peace’ holds an olive branch in her hand and has a cornucopia (horn of plenty) spilling forth at her feet. Beside her, ‘Art’ is shown as a female figure holding a palette and lastly ‘Labour’ a male figure wearing a loin cloth and bearing a sledge-hammer across his shoulder. In the background a ship sails into a bay and buildings rise.


This selection represents a small sample of our collection. Our book detailing the collection is currently out of print.
An updated edition has been published in 2017.
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