Murdered designer's skills on display at Victorian country mansion auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 25th February, 2022

The skills of internationally famous Melbourne interior designer the late Stuart Rattle – murdered in 2013 by mentally disturbed boyfriend Michael O’Neill – will be on display to auction goers who attend Christian McCann Auctions next on site sale from 12pm Sunday March 6 at 67 Shoreham Road, Red Hill.

The home is one of the finest properties on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and is widely renowned for its impeccable gardens that include fine garden statuary.

Inside is an array of important art, antiques and home furnishings that feature bespoke settees and dining furniture purchased under Mr Rattle’s guidance  – all of which will go under the hammer on the day.

Typical of the garden attractions is an outstanding French Pan-like bronze fountain (lot 1) once among offerings by local antique dealer Graham Geddes, that would enhance any well cared for Melbourne property, and the sculpture that is lot 506.

Among the household possessions is a superb collection of Japanese Meiji period (1868-1912) Satsuma porcelain such as a cabinet bowl with hand painted panels depicting Geisha and Samurai (lot 135).

French 18th and 19th century miniatures, including an attributed to Marguerite Gerard ivory entitled Cupid’s Kiss (lot 148), are not to be missed. Born on January 28, 1761, Gerard was successful French painter and print maker working in the Rococo style who died in Paris on May 18, 1837.

An extensive Royal Worcester collection, featuring pieces like the hand painted bulbous vase (lot 187) and rare double sided vase (lot 204), is another attraction.

Nineteenth century French clocks (lot 329) are another drawcard, along with 18th and 19th century French and English furniture such as the three drawer rosewood marble top commode listed at lot 36.

Auction goers will be impressed with the art on offer, particularly the 2004 oil on timber work by Hilarie Mais (lot 20) that originally came from Christine Abrahams Gallery.

Born in the United Kingdom, Mais lives and works in Sydney concentrating on abstract constructions that merge the formal structure of a grid with the more organic forms found in nature.

One of Australia’s leading artists John Perceval (1923-2000) – the last surviving member of a group known as the Angry Penguins that included John Reed, Joy Hester, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and Albert Tucker, all of whom redefined Australian art in the 1940s – is represented through his work entitled Snow Storm over the Hills (lot 64). Other painters include David Boyd, Pro Hart and Robert Dickerson.

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