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One of the pieces of New Sculpture from John Schaeffer’s collection, Sir Alfred Gilbert’s bronze Perseus Arming of 1882, which carries an estimate of Aus$180,000-220,000 at Sotheby’s Australia.

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“It galvanised my collecting,” he said. “The whole exhibition struck me… the poetry, the storylines, the romanticism. As a businessman who did not have any formal training, it… caused me to suddenly pick up books and feverishly read about what inspired the artists.”

Hitherto a buyer of Australian art, Schaeffer diversified into works by Victorian artists such as Waterhouse, Poynter, Watts, Leighton and Gilbert.

Sotheby’s Australia is to sell work from his collection in Sydney in a 56-lot auction on April 29. On offer will be works by a range of 19th century British and Continental European artists.

Pictured here is one of the pieces of New Sculpture from Schaeffer’s collection, Sir Alfred Gilbert’s 2ft 4in (72cm) high bronze Perseus Arming of 1882, which carries an estimate of Aus$180,000-220,000.

sothebysaustralia.com.au