Leonard Joel auctions contents of palatial manor

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 23rd October, 2013

Leonard Joel has been appointed by the Anderson family to dispose of the John Anderson Brown Collection built up over more than 50 years at the historic stately home Norrac, 23 View Street, Hawthorn.

Restoration of the manor, which had been built in 1881 for timber merchant James Wright, was a labour of love for Richmond real estate agent John and the late Roman de Kimpe, proprietor of the South Yarra salon Noisette and Australian distributor for the French perfumery Guerlain, who together purchased the property in 1964.

Some decades before, it had been divided into four residences and both men set about returning it to a single home and restoring the interior to its former sumptuous and palatial Italianate interior – from where it became a focal point for a generation of fashionable Melburnites.

At the same time, they embarked on a series of overseas buying trips to furnish the home, and it is this collection that Leonard Joel has been asked to auction.

Viewing will be on site from 9am-8pm today and then from 10am-4pm every day until Saturday when the items will be transferred to Leonard Joel’s headquarters at 333 Malvern Road, South Yarra for the noon classic furniture, objects and collectables sale.

An imposing 17th century Aubusson tapestry that stretches four metres on the main wall of the formal dining room is one of the auction highlights, along with an array of early Continental and English furnishings, fine art, Chinese and European porcelain and a charming collection of Indian reverse glass painted portraits.

Of particular note is an early 19th century Welsh oak dresser, an 18th century Italian giltwood torchere converted to a standard lamp, a 17th century Carlos II Spanish walnut refectory table with iron stretcher base, and an 18th century polychrome painted leather triptych depicting St George slaying the dragon.

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