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Fresh Stock – Australiana including RAAF items, Usable glass, Staffordshire Pottery, -plus more!

Derby figure of Apollo, c. 1785

Welcome to the latest Fresh Stock release on
This week has seen a wide variety of quality pieces entering our stock lists, from stunning Chinese Silver to a election of usable Victorian glass.

There’s even some cheerful Staffordshire at very tempting prices!

Fresh to Stock

Fresh Staffordshire Figures

This superb quality 18th century figure is remarkable for its condition. Apollo stands, lyre in hand, laurel wreath on his head – and somehow, he has made it through 240 years with only a very slight chip up underneath the plinth.


Curated Collections

Moorabool has a good selection of ‘Australiana’ to offer, fresh to the market in 2023. From fine art to furniture, there’s a ‘Curated Collection’ of quality pieces for you to browse.

An interesting group consists of a watercolour and two etchings, signed ‘G.Cope’. When we look up this name, there is an American artist of the right period – but why are they mainly Australian scenes with the occasional Egyptian and English scene mixed in?

Ernest E. Abbott (1888-1973) signed G Cope - Captain Cook's Cottage, Fitzroy Gardens, 1934-39
Ernest E. Abbott (1888-1973) signed G Cope – Captain Cook’s Cottage, Fitzroy Gardens, 1934-39

It turns out ‘George Cope’ was an alias, used by English/Australian artist Ernest Edwin Abbott (1888-1973).
Born in 1888 at Bideford, Devon, he came to Australia and trained as a sign writer in Western Australia. In 1917 he opened a studio in Melbourne. He seems to have completely given up on art in around 1939- the beginning of WWII. The last 30 years of his life don’t seem to have any artistic products; he ran a machine workshop instead.

Subjects are mainly Australian scenery, but he also did English and Egyptian scenes. This suggests trips back to England via the Suez Canal, with a stop over to paint & sketch.

George Cope /Ernest E. Abbott..... Pharaoh's Tomb, circa 1925
George Cope /Ernest E. Abbott….. Pharaoh’s Tomb, circa 1925

In the case of our Arab watercolour, the tomb is not an ancient Egyptian tomb as the title suggests, but a typical Arab whitewashed tomb complex of a much later date: perhaps the local tradition was that it was the tomb of a Pharaoh, which suggests he was there in-person to paint it. Other watercolours show ancient Egyptian temples in great detail, which support the ‘on-site’ idea, rather than an imaginative scene done in a Melbourne studio.

Online art records are full of discrepancies when it comes to Cope-signed etchings: it seems the American artist George Cope (1855-1929) has been mistaken for this ‘alias’, but a check of the American’s artworks reveals they are very different in nature – and never Australian subjects. The mystery is why E.E. Abbott took that exact name….. and why he was never publicly acknowledged, or exhibited, like his contemporaries such as Baldwinson and Victor Cobb.  There’s more to be discovered about the mysterious George Cope /Ernest E. Abbott…..

Royal Australian Air Force

Some interesting Royal Australian Air Force memorabilia has come to Moorabool, along with some other militaria items of interest.

Clifford Dudley-Wood's portrait of RAAF officer Peter Napier Munro, 1945
Clifford Dudley-Wood’s portrait of RAAF officer Peter Napier Munro, 1945

This portrait by Clifford Dudley Wood (1905-1980) dates to his war-time military service: although he was not designated an official ‘War Artist’, he did produce a number of works & portraits recording his experience. Being handy with a paint brush, he was actually in the ‘Camouflage Brigade’, responsible for the confusing patterns to preserve allied military equipment!

Clifford Dudley-Wood's portrait of RAAF officer Peter Napier Munro, 1945

This portrait shows a NCO Sargent, who judging by his brevet – the badge with ‘AG’ and a wing on his shirt – was an air-gunner in the Australian Airforce. He had the tough job of keeping the enemy aircraft at bay with his guns, and was therefore a primary target for them, and the highest-risk category in the force…. a little poking around in the War Memorial records, and we have his details and an amazing photograph! He was WO Peter N. Munro, from Orange.

1918 BAP propellor WWI
1918 S4C propellor, WWI

The artist, Clifford Dudley Wood, was born in Geelong, studied art & design at Swinburne Technical College in Melbourne in the early 1920s, and exhibited with the Victorian Artists Society. He was twice a finalist for the coveted Archibald Prize. During the Great Depression, he made a living from commercial art, being responsible for many magazine adverts and iconographic adverts. At the same time, he began exhibiting his own artwork.

During World War Two, he was stationed on RAAF bases, and they utilised his ‘skills with a paintbrush….’ for creating camouflage! It is apparent that he also had time for private commissions: this portrait is one of a group of ‘men in uniform’ by Dudley-Wood.

Tres Français!

Saturday 28, Sunday 29 October 2023

Le Festival Français, Geelong 2023

We have a treat for our local customers: a weekend of French food & fun, hosted at Geelong’s beautiful National Trust property, ‘The Heights’. 
Moorabool is opening a genuine ‘Brocante’ – we have taken the charming Dovecote in the garden, and will have it stuffed full of interesting items to buy. 

As well, Paul Rosenberg will be giving a lecture, ‘Trés Français’, taking a small audience through the wonderful influence France has had on our culture. This takes place inside the house, spaces strictly limited, so head to if you would like to come. 

Note: the funds from entry etc. go towards the actual property, a terrific fundraiser for this treasured local property.

THe Heights

The house will also be opening for guided tours throughout the weekend: we’re excited to be involved with this also, and Moorabool has been asked to ‘dress’ the rooms in a French theme. 

Vite! …and apologies to those who live too far away: we’ll post some photos ….. 

Read more & book tickets >>




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