Australia – WEBWIRE

Australia Jewels

9 Aug 2022



Circa 1964 

Bonhams is delighted to offer to market the jewellery collection of the late Joan Crebbin, who with husband Dick Crebbin, amassed an elegant and innovative collection including pieces by some of Britain’s most celebrated and sought-after jewellers.

Dick Crebbin, who died in 1989, was a founding director of Marrickville Holdings, which produced brands including Miracle Margarine and ETA Peanut Butter. He was also an art administrator, appointed chairman of the interim council of the Australian National Gallery in 1974, under the Whitlam Government, and becoming the first chairman of the permanent council under the Fraser Government.

Joan Crebbin died two years ago, aged 94, and Bonhams is offering 64 lots of her jewellery, representing most of her collection. The Crebbins were celebrated for their love of art and design, and lived in a Walter Burley Griffin-designed home in the Sydney harbour-side suburb of Castlecrag.

Fiona Frith, Senior Specialist, comments, ’Joan Crebbin’s collecting started in the 1950s so some pieces are quite formal. In the 1960s, Joan moves into the avant garde, with pieces by Andrew Grima, Rod Edwards, and Gerald Benney. It’s such a treat to see one person’s collection and evolution in taste.’

The collection features some wonderfully crafted pieces by leading international jewellers, including a gold cuff bracelet from circa 1964 by the Yorkshire-born Gerald Benney, one of the most outstanding gold and silversmiths of the 20th century. So highly regarded, at one point in his career Benney held no less than four Royal Warrants, producing exceptional pieces for members of the Royal Family including Queen Elizabeth II and the late Queen Mother.

There are also pieces by Englishman Roy King, whose clients included musicians The Beatles and Tom Jones, as well as Australian Rod Edwards. Although synonymous with British jewellery, Edwards was born in Australia and studied sculpture and design Sydney. He moved to England in 1954 and became a jewellery apprentice. By the 1960s, he was recognised as a unique voice, exhibiting at Goldsmith’s Hall in London.

Later in life, Joan Crebbin’s collecting shifted away from the diamond and sapphire encrusted bracelets of her youth. She acquired many pieces from celebrated Danish silversmith Georg Jensen, and 24 lots are featured in this sale.