Tag Archives: David Roche foundation

A generous arts and antiques buff!

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home” – Twyla Tharp

What if I told you that I know a place here in North Adelaide to travel the world, escape the routine and embrace history, would you believe me?!

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The Pratts called this type of pottery their “Etruscan” ware.

The David Roche Foundation is an impressive arts collection gallery featuring two centuries of European designs. His founder, David Roche, was passionate about antiques and fine arts. He devoted his whole life traveling the world and acquiring unique objects. When it came to arts he had absolutely no limits and he adored everything: furnitures, paintings, sculptures, porcelains… His home was filled with treasures from the past to be cherished and kept secret! But David Roche had a dream: he wanted  to leave a legacy to Australian people! His foundation is his last gift so visitors can enjoy his legendary collection and learn more about history through unique and original pieces.

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Patinated bronze statue of the Madonna: Mother of Mercy

I really recommend to visit this art gallery. It is fascinating to gaze at all these original objects and hear about their origins. It is like traveling to the past: it is a beautiful journey from the early rococo of France to Faberge in Russia. Furthermore David Roche is quite an intriguing character and it is interesting to hear about his life. The gallery is run by an amazing Lady called Ann, she is absolutely fabulous and I could honestly listen to her for hours presenting each item of the collection: so fascinating! Besides she speaks English beautifully (crystal clear) so for foreigners like me, it is a really good practice!  In my opinion, she speaks the “Queen’s English” and it is absolutely divine! I think she really adds something to the whole experience!

As for me, thanks to Ann explanations, my favourite piece was actually a Napoleon dessert service depicting views of Paris. It was made with delicate and finest porcelain and it looked really precious. The emperor offered this set to his beloved sister Pauline! And if you paid a closer look to the dessert plates, you could see on one of them the “Jardin des plantes” and 2 kangaroos as part of this beautiful scenery! Actually the French emperor was fascinated by Australia: in the 1800s it was considered as the most exotic, exiting and unexplored place of the world! No wonder that at that  time an expedition was orchestrated by Napoleon himself! He appointed the French explorer Nicolas Baudin and instructed him to bring back to France typical Australian plants and animals! It is nearly a miracle that the kangaroos survived the 6 months journey on the ship (when I can hardly cope with the 21 hours trip by plane from Adelaide to Paris) and could be seen in the famous Parisian botanical garden. So as you can easily imagine I really enjoyed gazing at this beautiful Napoleon dessert service, it is more than an object, it is all the (hi)story it represent and what Australia means to France and French people ❤

IMG_1191So next time, you happen to visit the fancy Melbourne street on North Adelaide, pop by the lovely cafe E for Ethel for a nice lunch or a latte and then head to The David Roche foundation and don’t  leave the gallery before having found a favourite piece to remember so you can tell me all about it in the comment section 😉 I’m really looking forward to hear from you!

VIEWING GALLERY

237 Melbourne Street
North Adelaide SA 5006

(08) 8267 1755
 
Entry by donation of $2 per person
Tuesday to Thursday: 10am to 3pm – Friday to Monday: Closed
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Here are some informations about the antiques presented on the different article pictures:
The pair of moulded and carved terra cotta figures are allegories of Spring (with the posy of flowers)  and Summer (with the buch of grapes) and are in the style of Charles Percier (1764-1838) and Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine (1762-1853). They are from France, early 20th century.The silvered and parcel-gilt electrotyped copper wall plaques are referred to as “Chargers” and were made by Elkington & Co. in England in 1869, from French designs.One is  “January-June” signs of the zodiac, the other is  “July- December” and each has a different season portrayed in the centre.
 
The black and white earthenware Pot-pourri Vase is by Pratt & Co. of Fenton, England and was made circa 1880. It is in perfect condition, and is in three sections with a domed lid, an inner lid pierced with holes and a base with two handles attached from the shoulders to the rim, decorated in black over white with painted and transfer printed classical pattern borders and figural designs and gilding. The Pratts called this type of pottery their “Etruscan” ware.
 
The patinated bronze statue of the Madonna is by British sculptor, Nic Fiddian-Green who was born in 1963.   It is titled ‘Mother of Mercy’ and was produced in England circa 1999. This sculpture was created for the new millennium as an edition of only three – the first is in the Vatican in Rome. On completion of the third and final cast, all moulds are to be destroyed by the artist.