Most readers will be aware of this auction company. Charles Leski Auctions merged into mossgreen some years back. Followed a couple of years later by major Australian stamp auction, Gary Watson’s Prestige Philately, and Nick Anning moved across with him. And in the past year or 2, also Torsten Weller’s postal history business.
All 4 well known identities actively work for the mossgreen company, although from what I can see, Leski has no direct connection with the stamp area these days.
Mossgreen were also in the fine arts auction business and there are regular sales.
They conducted a very well run, and very well publicised and patronised sale of the Arthur Gray “KGV” material a year or so back. Myself and many others flew in for the first sale, and it invoiced for about $A3 million - a record for any stamp auction in this country. Just beating out Phoenix’s superb offering of the Stuart Hardy Kangaroos from May 2013.
I took this photo of Charles Leski (left) and Gary Watson outside the viewing rooms.
The ‘Gray KGVI’ sale takes place in a few days Spink advise. At time of writing I have not seen a catalogue. I asked for one by email to head of stamp division and got no reply. I spent a large 5 figure sum at the Gray KGV sale. (And the Gray “Kangaroo” sale before that, also well run, and very well supported.) The Spink website is designed and run by Aeroflot or Monty Python Flying Circus it appears, and is near unusable.
Type into google - "Arthur Gray KGVI stamp collection" - and not a MENTION of the Spink sale - but a ton of links to the mossgreen KGV one - Spink "marketing" incompetence on a Grand Scale -
https://www.google.com.au/search?q=arthur+gray+KGVI+stamp+co ... 8wf6uY_IBg
There was no ad or mention in the leading “Stamp News” magazine published in late August for “KGVI” sale, and they sent a press release to magazines a week back saying the sale was almost taking place. Totally hopeless, and incompetent, and lazy at marketing stamps, but that is Spink, and I am digressing.
The mossgreen website until last month showed Jack Gringlas as Chairman of mossgreen, and Charles Leski as Deputy Chairman -
https://web.archive.org/web/20170714193321/https://www.mossg ... directors/
Both names are absent now on the website.
The 'Australian Financial Review' reported on August 30 -
Mossgreen is now understood to have parted company with its chairman and major financial backer, billionaire Jack Gringlas.
As reported in these pages, it has in recent times reduced staff after moving into the stamp business, and spreading its operations to New Zealand.
https://www.afr.com/lifestyle/arts-and-entertainment/art/two- ... 830-gy6xy3
The same newspaper reported earlier in August –
"Mossgreen is shedding more than a dozen staff and has sold its premises, but chief executive Paul Sumner says it is business as usual at the Melbourne-based auction house, which continues to line up sales at a frenetic pace.
Sumner says the staff restructure reflects the firm's increasing focus on single-owner collections and higher value lots following its expansion in recent years - including the merger with the Charles Leski stamp auction group in 2013, and the takeover of New Zealand's Webb's last year.
He says the job-shedding involves mainly internal support staff, though one specialist left of his own accord.
As for the sale of its premises, a refurbished cinema in Armadale that was once the home of Sotheby's, Sumner says the firm leases the building, as it does all its premises. "The new owner is someone we know well," he says.
https://www.afr.com/lifestyle/arts-and-entertainment/art/moss ... 802-gxnjgz
The AFR also published August 23 that a well-known person to many collectors and members here had left mossgreen –
"It was recently announced that Max Williamson, long-time sports specialist with Charles Leski Auctions, then with Mossgreen after the Leski merger, has now joined Leonard Joel in Melbourne.
This shows that sports memorabilia is now one of the most competitive categories on the secondary market.
"I am thrilled that Max Williamson, easily the acknowledged leading Australian expert in the sporting memorabilia area, has joined Leonard Joel," says managing director John Albrecht.
There are surprisingly few experts in this area. Over the past few decades Williamson has tapped into the tight network of collectors, which means they tend to approach him first.
"Every morning I sit down in front of the computer and go through my emails," he says. "Most are asking me the same thing … 'what's it worth?' "
https://www.afr.com/lifestyle/arts-and-entertainment/art/spor ... 823-gy24l1
I understand that many millions had been spent in recent times on the large mossgreen complex in trendy inner city ‘Antiques Alley’ Armadale. Whether Jack Gringlas owned it I am not sure, but I assumed he did. It used to be the Sotheby’s offices.
Gringlas is a Billionaire according to the AFR above, and clearly has deep pockets. He is a very active stamp collector, and I imagine that is why he was keen to see a strong stamp operation merge in to the mossgreen Fine Arts umbrella. Good to see!
I suggested to he and Charles when in Melbourne that buying Stanley Gibbons might be an idea to look into. He was not keen - “I like auctioning things, not buying companies with fixed stocks” and I can see it really was not a fit for the operation. In hindsight rather wise, as the SG share price has slumped further in the interim – sadly.
Who actually owns mossgreen now, I honestly do not know, or whether they are as keen about stamps as Gringlas was. Leski, Watson, Weller and Anning are all still in situ there as far as I can see, and let’s hope things stay that way.