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Happy 2022!

Another year has turned over- we would like to thank you for the support in 2021, and in 2022 we have so much more to enjoy. It’s an exciting time for Moorabool, with a number of projects all coming together – including a brand-new website.

We paused this over Christmas so it would not disrupt the necessary online shopping – but it’s full steam ahead now. You’ll start to notice some differences over the next little while.

Have you seen our display stands? We have a range of nice hand-made Chinese stands, all natural wood.

There’s also a scattering of Fresh items in the ‘Latest’ page, take a look here.

Fox head stirrup cup, early 19th century
Fox head stirrup cup, early 19th century

Have have a Safe & Prosperous New Year!

from Paul & Glenys Rosenberg,

Mathew Bugg

Moorabool Antiques, January 1st 2022

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Curated Collections

Children's Mugs

We’re pleased to announce a new way of browsing our vast stock on

Curated Collections.

These small groups of complimentary items will illustrate an idea, such as a maker, period or technique.
Or even just a group of pieces that go well together – as we say, they ‘speak the same language’….

Scottish Memorabilia - Badges & Medals
Scottish Memorabilia – Badges & Medals

These will appear on our home page, ( on the far right column, next to ‘news’) – and will only remain for a limited time, to be replaced by different collections. With over 10,000 items to choose from, the possibilities are endless!

In a way, these are ‘mini-exhibitions’. Pre-covid, we were putting together regular displays at Antique Fairs, either in Melbourne, Sydney or Canberra – with the occasional trip to Adelaide – and also in our Geelong premises. However, this excluded all of our keen overseas customers – so by utilising the website for these Curated Collections, we can offer many more pieces to many more people, at a fraction the cost!

See the latest ‘Curated Collections’ here – ‘3 Bowls’, with three lovely 18th century Continental small punchbowls, fresh to our stock this week, from Meissen, Neiderviller, and Furstenberg >>

Curated : adjective(of online content, merchandise, information, etc.) selected, organized, and presented using professional or expert knowledge……

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John Rosenberg, 1938-2020

John Rosenberg at the last AAADA Fair in Melbourne (2018)
John Rosenberg with his first ‘Antique’ – a Staffordshire spill, purchased around 1950!

With sadness we note the passing of John Rosenberg, founder of Moorabool Antiques, after a short illness on Friday 19th June.

He went to his first auction aged 7, with his Grandmother. This was at ‘Kerleys Auctions’, Geelong;
Aged 80, he was still buying, and went along to Kerley’s last-ever Auction before they closed down early 2020. This was also to be his last auction, as the sudden appearance of cancer took his strength.

We’ll have much more to share on this in the near future; if you have any memories of John (which we could share, anonymously) please feel free to email them to Paul.

A regular feature at our Antique Fairs!

He was dearly loved by many, a thorough gentleman of the old-school type, and passionate his whole lifetime about his chosen profession, Antiques. This passion radiated from him, and was catching to those fortunate enough to spend time in conversation with him!

Gone, but never forgotten…

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Great (Exhibition) Expectations

A surprise attribution leads to a fascinating provenance.

Pair of well-painted plates, unmarked, maker uncertain….

A flamboyant pair of plates with startling orange borders had been in our storeroom for some time before their significance was unearthed, purely by chance.

Their shape is a common ‘lobed’ form, and made by many porcelain makers in the mid 19th century. Our possible attribution was Copeland…. circa 1870…. one of many similar makers of bone china in the 19th century. But as unmarked pieces, it would take a miracle to attribute them firmly. 

One day, their origin literally left out at me – on the front cover of a newly acquired book (a gift from a good friend, thanks Helen!) was an identical plate! The book was Godden’s ‘Ridgeway Porcelains’, 1985 edition. At last, a firm attribution. 

Opening up to p229, we discover their significance:  

‘A plate from a John Ridgeway dessert service shown at the 1851 Great Exhibition’..>>!   What excellent provenance! 

Tracing Godden’s identification of this service to an original booklet that was available to visitors at the Great Exhibition, we find the following inscription: 

#42 One Dessert Centre(piece) , Two Comports, Six Plates….. Coral Border, Watteau Centre & Gold 

At the ‘Great Exhibition’ in Crystal Palace, London, this was a ‘sample’ display of a service type, showing off what the company was capable of, and one of a group of other sample services with different decoration. Similar to the way ‘concept cars’ at today’s car shows sometimes never get made commercially, the display and the available retail product may well have differed; some items may have been ‘Great Exhibition Only’ pieces and never been part of the commercial production of the firm. The superb and very costly large scenes on these plates makes the case for the idea that these plates are two of the 6 made for the Great Exhibition of 1851, and were not part of the general offerings to the public from Ridgeway. 

See plate 1 here >>

See plate 2 here >>

Browse all 2019 Exhibition items here >>

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John turns 80!

A special milestone occurred this week, with John Rosenberg, founder of Moorabool Antiques, turning 80.

John Rosenberg turns 80, 2019
John Rosenberg turns 80, 2019

Back in the 1950’s, a young John Rosenberg could have never believed he would be proprietor of a business such as Moorabool was to become. His first purchase at the age of 12 was a Staffordshire Swan Inkwell – still treasured to this day!

Staffordshire Swan Inkwell
Staffordshire Swan Inkwell

He haunted the few places in Geelong that had Antiques, and from their owners began to learn the vast amount there is to know about the past – something he is still pursuing every day of late, pouring through our reference books for the more obscure patterns & shapes contained in the huge collection we are currently processing…..

John has seen huge change in the Antiques Trade, from his very first Antique Dealers Association fair in 1959 – the second ever held in Victoria– through 59 consecutive years exhibiting, including the boom years for Antiques in the 1980’s-90’s…. fast-forward to 2019 and there was no Dealers Association Antique Fair held, breaking his 59-year consecutive stretch… a reflection on the shrinking Antiques Market.

These days the business is quite, and prices are low – and that, says John is exciting.

“For anyone buying Antiques, there has never been a better time. In all my experience, most items are cheaper today than they were when I began, and have not been this affordable in any of the years since…” 

In other words, now is the perfect time to buy!

John has never lost his fascination in past products, hand-made with care and attention. And the variety is seemingly endless.

“Always something to discover, something ‘New’ in Antiques that I have never seen before…” 

“I still work every day – if you call this work!”

We got together some friends & family in the Reference Library of Moorabool to celebrate his 80th party.

Some wonderful in-house catering resulted in a very trendy ‘Grazing table’ – using antiques in a very encouraging way!

The cake was always a concern -clearly a ‘normal’ cake would not do for this momentous occasion – and so a Willow Pattern design was conceived – echoing the one from his 70th birthday, but in this case, brought to life with a ‘crash’!

Willow Pattern Plate Cake
Willow Pattern Plate Cake

Those cracks are an Antique ceramic dealers worst nightmare, and slicing it up & eating it was something of a relief!

A good time was had by all, and thanks to all who came & sent their best wishes – and have done so since.