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  • “Gary was known as the antique light king and supplied to some of the finest homes in Australia”

The lights have gone out on one of Melbourne’s longest serving antique dealers with the closing down of Antique Décor at 899 High Street, Armadale. Now 66, Gary Kay had been in business for 47 years, during which time he built an enviable reputation as the biggest dealer in antique lights in the southern hemisphere, before ill health forced him to sell the building and all the stock.

Handling the furniture and effects sale is auctioneer Phillip Caldwell who said the stock was fabulous and mostly unreserved – so there were genuine bargains to be had. “Gary was known as the antique light king and he supplied lights and chandeliers to some of the finest homes in Australia,” he said. “In this auction (from 11am Sunday October 5) there will be 500-600 18th century to art deco lights and chandeliers, many of them unrestored.” Phil Caldwell said other dealers and restorers might buy many of the unrestored lights but those private buyers wanting their own chandelier also could obtain restoration quotes from Gary Kay’s own restorers. “Any that need work people can buy confident they can discuss restoration details with me after the auction,” Phil said.

The auction also is significant for its intricately carved chateau library bookcases up to 3.2 metres tall brought from major French chateaus including several in the Loire Valley. Nineteenth century French cushion mirrors are another major attraction at the sale – normally worth about $14,000 each. “You hardly ever see one for sale and we have 10 in this auction,” Phil said. The sale contains some fine Royal Worcester (including a 1770 piece by Dr Wall), Sevres and Meissen porcelain along with mantel and salon clocks, one an automata in the shape of a windmill, and bronzes. Other items worth considering are an ornate Italian sideboard and matching cassone (arms chest) and a French Boulle cabinet. One of the more intriguing pieces is a mahogany and inlaid leather architect’s desk where the top lifts horizontally by levers to enable plans to be drawn. Viewing is Friday and Saturday October 3-4, 10am-6pm.