The Kenneth & Gloria Ely Collection

Born in 1926 Ken Ely epitomises the term ‘a self-made man'. Raised an orphan, he had his first job at the age of twelve as a stable hand with Steve Murphy stables and was an apprentice jockey by the age of fifteen.

He moved to Steve Murphy stables in Werribee and was an apprentice jockey by the age of fifteen. In Australia horse racing continued during the war years amidst some controversy, however, Ken chose to join the armed forces working in logistics and stores for the air force.

When the war ended, Ken resumed his career as a jockey travelling to India and Ceylon. The Colombo racecourse had been converted to an airfield during WWII and was dismantled and reconverted to its original purpose after the war. Ken won the first race to be run at the recommissioned racecourse, riding a thoroughbred named Aban. Whilst in India he met and married his beloved Gloria with whom he spent 73 happy years.

Ken & Gloria Ely Standing on the road in the snow, circa 19705

In 1951 a serious fall from a horse in Karachi ended his racing career and he returned to Australia to start a new life with Gloria. His family and children took centre stage as he rose through the corporate ranks, finally becoming head of the successful Dimplex Australia. In the early 1970s Ken discovered his first collecting passion, satin glass and fairy lights after attending his first auction.

In the 1980s he began collecting Royal Worcester porcelain focussing his energies on porcelain plaques by Worcester’s most famous and well-loved artists including Harry and John Stinton, Harry Davis and George Mosley. The 1990s saw Ken and Gloria concentrate on French glass and the beautiful pâte de verre glass night lights and lamps of Gabriel Argy-Rousseau and Amalric Walter.

Now aged 97, Ken has decided to pass his collection on to a whole new group of collectors just as passionate about his love of French glass and the famous Royal Worcester painters of the late 19th and early 20th century. It is with great pleasure that we offer The Kenneth and Gloria Ely Collection and we trust-that you will gain as much enjoyment from it as Ken and Gloria have.

To view the online catalogue, click here.