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Fresh Stock – Fine Fans, Coffee Cans, Usable Glasses, Vertu…

Chinese Export Bird Fan - dertail - c. 1850

An exciting selection of Fresh items have just been posted on We have a wide variety of quality items this release, everything from an 18th century fan painted with Roman Ruins, to a Melbourne Silversmith’s presentation trowel for a Camberwell church, made by the President of the Carlton Football Club – who was also a rarely-identified colonial silversmith!


'Grand Tour' fan, Views of Rome, Italian c.1785
‘Grand Tour’ fan, a Masterpiece painted with panels of ‘Views of Rome’, Italian c.1785
Grand Tour fan, Rome, Pompeii, Rococo carved scenic sticks, c. 1785
A Roman viaduct painted on the Italian fan, c. 1785

Are you a Fan fan? They were once a social necessity, not for keeping cool, but for hiding behind in social encounters…. at least in a European context. Those Europeans who headed to warmer climates must have been very glad of them though, as they were a handy way of keeping cooler in the hot colonial climates.
We have a fine selection, some of which come from the collection of the late Lorraine Rosenberg. She was the driving force behind Moorabool Antiques from the beginning in the 1960’s, and an avid collector of textiles & fans.

The key piece in today’s release is a French ‘Grand Tour’ fan from the late 18th century: the detail on this is stunning, with hand-painted views of Roman ruins and very finely carved sticks. The lines that make up the background are almost as fine as a hair!

Grand Tour fan, Rome, Pompeii, Rococo carved scenic sticks, c. 1785
A ‘pleasure folly’ with lots of activity, superbly carved to the sticks, with a fine web of cuts making the background. note the size of the pin-head, upper right.
Grand Tour Italian Fan
Grand Tour Italian Fan in wall mounted box-frame.

It is conveniently housed in a custom made ‘fan box’, designed to hang on the wall.

None of the others have this mounting – they are all foldable & unmounted – but we are able to provide a fan shadow-box on request, please ask for a quote.

  • Antique Fans at Moorabool Antiques, Geelong
  • Chinese white feather fan, fine Birds & Flowers painting, intricate carved ivory ends, c. 1820
  • Chinese Export brisé black lacquer fan, fine gilt scenes, Canton c. 1840
  • Chinese Export Lacquer & Painted Fan c. 1850
  • Brussels Lace Fan c. 1860

The Chinese Export fan below features applied silk costumes to the inhabitants, and ivory faces beautifully detailed.
In this gent’s hand is a fan – of course!

Dates to circa 1850.

See the fans here…. with more to come shortly.

A Camberwell Rarity

The Melbourne-made presentation trowel in today’s ‘Fresh Stock’ is a terrific piece of Australiana. It has a fiddleback Blackwood handle, and a silver-plate blade, beautifully inscribed:

Australian Silver & Blackwood Trowel, Robertson Silversmith Melbourne 1903
Australian Silver & Blackwood Trowel, Robertson Silversmith Melbourne 1903

“CAMBERWELL BAPTIST CHURCH / Mrs Westmore G Stephens / ON LAYING / THE MEMORIAL STONE / 12.9.1903. / J.F. Gibbins Archt. / Fraser & Currie Contrs.”

It turns out this was a building built in 1903 on the site of the present building, a brick church constructed in 1940. We tried to find the stone that this trowel was used to ‘lay’ – but no luck, perhaps a Melbourne local may know…. email us if you’re familiar with the church, located right near the Camberwell Junction.
The maker of this trowel is also not very well documented. Robert Robertson came to Melbourne in 1852, and operated as a jeweller throughout the goldfish years, using a rarely seen hallmark ‘RR’. When his son joined the firm, it was ‘Robert Robertson & Son’ – try saying that fast! This piece bears another rarely seen mark, not in the literature – ‘R&S ROBERTSON’.

Robert Robertson, Silversmith & Footballer – Melbourne, 1887

Research into his career as a silversmith revealed very little documentation – he was a wholesale silversmith, meaning he made pieces for retail jewellers, and they often put their own hallmarks on the pieces they sold. However, he is well documented for a very ‘Melbourne’ reason: Australia Rules Football!

He took up the ‘new’ sport very early, possibly playing in an 1869 match for the Carlton Football Club. He twice captained the team in 1871, was the Carlton Vice President 1871-73, and then from 1874-84 was the Carlton Football Club President!

Beautiful Buckles

These exquisite items were used by the fashionable Victorian lady to clasp their thin belts they wore at their waist. The Art-Nouveau example in particular is a very fine example.

Early 19th century English Porcelain Coffee Cans at Moorabool Antiques, Geelong
Early 19th century English Porcelain Coffee Cans at Moorabool Antiques, Geelong

Coffee Cans

For all Coffee Can Collectors – here’s a gorgeous group of miniature masterpieces, including a selection of landscapes…. plus other early 19th century makers, including Pinxton, Machin, Spode, Derby, Coalport, Flight Worcester, Derby, Coalport, and two fine French examples.

Fresh to Stock


We have some exciting pieces due to be released shortly – have a preview here:

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