Melbourne Victorian mansion venue for decorative arts auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 28th March, 2023

Another magnificent Victorian mansion – this time the one christened “Chevy Chase” after a ballad about a 14th century battle Scottish and English forces – is the venue for a joint Christian McCann-John Ainger decorative arts auction from 11am Sunday April 2.

The mansion, at 201-205 Were Street, Brighton was sold in October last year for a rumoured approximately $13 million and has been the home for the past 43 years of Darren and Jennifer Overend.

Designed by leading 19th century Melbourne architect Frederick Williams – responsible for several of the city’s heritage buildings and at one stage Mayor of the Borough of Sandridge – the 1881 mansion is situated on almost 4000 square metres of land with six bedrooms, a three-storey tower providing views of Port Phillip Bay, 14-car garage, library, music room, four bathrooms, cellar, two dining rooms, two kitchens, a recreational pavilion, gazebo, swimming pool and spa.

The Overends contents are being auctioned at the mansion by Christian McCann Auctions and E.J. Ainger Pty Ltd and include a fine collection of English George III, Regency and Victorian furniture along with superb French items.

Of particular note are two exhibition quality 19th century French salon cabinets (lots 83 and 96) and a bureau plat (lot 92).

Fantastic bronze figures include a large spelter group of Arabian horsemen Ele Guilamane (lot 20) and a finely detailed 19th century French gilt bronze and ivory figure of a smiling maiden (lot 105) by French-Polish sculptor Paul Philippe (1870-1930).

Clock collectors will be impressed with the range of French 19th century timepieces and English bracket and carriage clocks such as lot 155, a French bronze and gilt mantel clock.

The auction contains a range of porcelain including a quality pair of 19th century French marble vases with detailed ormolu swan neck mounts and raised cherub decorations (lot 43).

Paintings feature well-known Australian artists such as Jan Hendrik Scheltema, James Alfred Turner, Pro Hart, Hugh Sawrey and James Jackson – along with European painters like German Peter Heymann’s oil on canvas entitled The Recital (lot 58).

Other interesting artworks include Turner’s Escaping the Bushfire (lot 163) and Scheltema’s Overseeing the Herd (lot 103).

One of the more unusual items and of particular note to vintage and veteran car buffs is a rare Model T Ford in ready for restoration and an original Malvern Star motorised bike. Two Australian colonial era buggies complete the auction transport.

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