Historic Lal Lal Estate furniture a collector's dream

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 16th July, 2014

The historic Ballarat property Lal Lal Estate is auctioning the contents of its grand dining room through E.J. Ainger from 11am Sunday July 20 at 433 Bridge Road, Richmond.

Furniture from the Edwardian homestead includes a magnificent mahogany banquet table with four extension leaves, a set of 12 Victorian balloon back mahogany dining chairs and a William IV serving table.

Owned by the Fisken family for six generations before being sold in April to the giant Chinese wool buying company, Tianyu, the 2000-hectare merino wool property was established in 1846 – with the granite stables built 12 years later and the homestead in 1911.

The Fisken family arrived in Victoria from Scotland in the 1830s and young Archibald, then 11, went to live on the property with his uncle Peter Inglis and aunt, who did not want to remain in Melbourne.

At age 19, Archibald was placed in charge of the property, which stretched all the way to Ballarat, with what would become Lal Lal (Aboriginal for water) as part of it.

When Archibald married Charlotte McNamara 11 years later, his uncle gave him Lal Lal and succeeding generations of the family remained on the property until Wool Producers Australia president Geoff Fisken sold it to the Chinese.

The property runs cattle and 13,000 merino sheep and grows cereals and oilseed crops. In recent years, it has been made available for functions, conferences, media advertising, location photographic shoots and car rallies.

Aingers auction has Victorian furniture from Acorn Antiques including two walnut library bookcases and other finely restored Victorian drawing room furniture.

The sale also contains a fine collection of 18th century oak and mahogany furniture shipped to Australia some 30 years ago by a descendant of the Tyrwhitt Drake family, Lord of the Manor of Amersham in Buckinghamshire.

This collection includes a George II bachelor chest, a George III bureau, a Carolean gateleg table and a George IV apprentice chest.

Art works by famous Australian artists are another highlight – including paintings by Dudley Drew, Andris Jansons, Geoffrey Dyer, Fred Cress, Charles Blackman, Andrew Sibley, David Larwill, Lloyd Rees and Arthur Boyd.

Of interest to collectors will be a Leonard French leadlight folding screen and a range of notable porcelain including Meisssen and Sevres vases.

There also is a lifetime collection of kerosene lamps, a Coalbrookdale hallstand, and an early 19th century J. Longman & Co Cheapside, London, pianoforte.

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