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NEW BOOK! - Hendrik Forster Silversmith Designer Maker

A monograph by Christine Erratt

There are a number of processes in silversmithing which are also arduous, physically demanding, and tedious – unless you approach them with the right kind of Zen. Then you can discover such things as the beauty of the polished mark that every hammer blow leaves on an annealed dome of silver or the texture of a newly filed surface.

For over forty years, Hendrik Forster has been putting his Zen philosophy into practice, as evidenced in all of his work: in the pared-down pure lines of beauty, and the perfect harmony of form and function.

Christine Erratt has written an engaging account of Forster’s professional life, from the early years of his training and journeymanship in Germany, to his emigration to Australia and the maturity of his skill to become one of this country’s master craftsmen.

This is a fascinating account of the evolution of creative talent. Forster’s most exquisite pieces are examined in detail: their purpose, design and execution. The text highlights how the skill taken in the creation of a small piece of jewellery is, in essence, the same as that needed to perfect a towering sculpture.

Along the way, it reflects on the people, landscapes and materials that have influenced Forster’s work. 

To be an artist is to find one’s centre of gravity and reflect that state in one’s medium. To be a craftsman is to work with head and hand in harmony with the material and its natural laws.

This is a story of what it means to be a master craftsman.


An abundantly illustrated biography of one of Australia’s leading silversmiths, Hendrik Forster, has recently been published. This book – Hendrik Forster Silversmith Designer Maker – celebrates 40 years of Hendrik Forster’s life and work in designing and making both in silver and in other metals. Written by Australian silver researcher and author, Christine Erratt, the book covers Forster’s early life and training in Germany; his establishment as an acknowledged silversmith in Australia; and the influences this country has had on his designs as well as on his lifestyle. It follows his development from Bauhaus-influenced creations to work such as his famous Corrugated series where the utilitarian use of galvanised corrugated metal in the Outback influenced his designs and brought with it subtle surface decoration. Yet he still maintained the pure lines and simplicity of the Bauhaus influence. 

Forster has gained significant major commissions during his career, including Australia’s Royal Wedding Gift to Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 and St Patrick’s Cathedral extensive ecclesiastical commission in 2002. These and other commissions are particularly well documented both in the text and in the colour photographs. A move in the new millennium towards sculpturing in non-precious metals brought with it new challenges both in design and making for him.

This book is available through the author’s website

Available also through the authors’ website is her reference book, Marks on Australian Silver 1950-2005. This is the only comprehensive reference source for identifying makers’ and retailers’ marks on silverware made in Australia between 1950 and 2005.
AAADA Sydney Antiques Fair 2015
The fifteenth annual AAADA Sydney Antiques Fair will take place at the Royal Randwick Racecourse from 9th - 13th September, 2015.




Welcome to our April 2015 list, an offering of over 220 items.

This month's highlights include original drawings by John Perceval, Norman Lindsay and Ruby Lindsay; a good copy of the second Perrault edition of Les dix livres d'architecture de Vitruve (1684), probably the most desirable seventeenth century edition of Vitruvius; several original issues of the groundbreaking counter-culture journal of the 1960s, Aspen : the magazine in a box; and a great selection of vintage Australian travel ephemera and trade catalogues. As always, you will also find a wide range of nineteenth century works on voyages and exploration; bookplates by Australian artists; early children's books; colonial era Australian manuscripts and photographs, and Australian art monographs and artists' books.

Happy browsing!
9 March 2015 – Lauraine Diggins Fine Art
Australian Women Artists Between the Wars - on show at LDFA until 25 April 2015
Lauraine Diggins Fine Art is pleased to present our current exhibition Australian Women Artists Between the Wars featuring a selection of paintings and works on paper from the early to mid nineteenth century.  There is an ever-growing understanding and appreciation of women artists and their influence in shaping Australian art. Including works by Clarice BECKETT, Dorrit BLACK, Ethel CARRICK FOX, Grace COSSINGTON SMITH, Sybil CRAIG, Bessie DAVIDSON, Elaine HAXTON, Joy HESTER, Nora HEYSEN, Margaret PRESTON, Hilda RIX NICHOLAS, Kathleen SAUERBIER, Clara SOUTHERN & others.
16 February 2015 – Ben Stoner Antiques
New Showroom Now Open Chippendale
Ben Stoner Antiques has opened a new Showroom. BSA has grown to now take the top floor of the 24 Queen Street, Chippendale Warehouse. A great selection of items from the seriously fabulous to vintage and industrial including furniture, mirrors, lights and collectibles are available. The conservation and restoration workshop for furniture, gilding, leather work and bespoke commissions are still located on the first floor of number 24.

Please call Ben to view the Showroom between 10am - 3pm Monday to Friday or to make an appointment.