The Harry Oviss Collection
Part I: Sunday 3 October
Part II: Monday 4 October
Part III: Tuesday 5 October

Level 1, 885-889 High Street
Armadale, Victoria 3143


Part I (1-422): Sunday 3 October, 11am

Part II (423-739): Monday 4 October, 11am


Part III (740-1226): Tuesday 5 October, closing from 10am


No physical viewing is available due to COVID-19 restrictions. Condition reports, further photo requests and virtual viewings are available on request.



+61 (03) 9500 2607



+61 (03) 9500 2607

The Harry Oviss Collection

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Harry Oviss was born on 26th of March 1923 in Jaffa, Palestine, where his family had moved from Poland seeking better work prospects and opportunities. At 11 months old, he and his family migrated to Australia in 1924. Harry’s parents, like many others, took the risk of uprooting their family in hopes of a better life in Australia where they established a successful coat business.

The Great Depression during the 1930s was a time that immensely shaped Harry, instilling him with an insatiable goal to become a successful businessman. From a very young age, around 14 years old, he had an unshakeable ambition and a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve in life, and then proceeded to spend the next 84 years creating his own future and making his vision a reality.

His childhood aspirations certainly materialised with Harry becoming a successful clothing and fashion magnate with his exclusive knitwear shop in the Block Arcade, Collins Street, being one of the youngest people to lease a shop in the CBD at the time. While he possessed a natural talent in the clothing and textiles industry, his true passion was property and he would ultimately turn his business ventures to property and development.

From his humble, uncertain childhood, Harry cemented himself in Australia as a self-made man. Over time, his interests in building and architecture spilled into a passion for the arts, culminating with his
enthusiasm for collecting.

Art slowly became a lifetime hobby that knew no bounds and which he enjoyed immensely, especially when it came to contemporary art. He immersed himself in that world, becoming a regular visitor to galleries and auction houses, befriending people in the art world – artists, gallerists and other avid collectors.

Harry’s unique and eclectic tastes ultimately translated into an extensive collection of modern and contemporary artwork including works by Roger Kemp, Donald Friend, Leonard French and Robert Dickerson. Australian ceramics and art glass make up a significant proportion of the collection and include works by Arthur, David, Merric, Lucy and Guy Boyd, Reg Preston, Shigeo Shiga, Vic Greenaway and Deborah Halpern.

Mid-century Danish designer furniture is represented with some iconic pieces by Hans Wegner. Last but not least is the fabulous collection of modernist designer jewellery by the likes of Gary Bradley and Matcham Skipper.

Gibson’s are delighted to have been entrusted with the sale of The Harry Oviss Collection and it is with great pleasure that we offer it to the market knowing that these pieces will now move on to a whole new generation of collectors.