A 10% Goods and Services tax (G.S.T) will be charged on the Buyer's Premium in all lots in this sale
The Collection of John H Schaeffer A.O.,
Rona, Bellevue Hill, Sydney, Australia.
The Gothic grandeur of 'Rona', its breathtaking views and the extraordinary art collection, so meticulously assembled to complement this historic property, make this a truly international Christie's auction.
Edmund Capon, Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney in his foreword to "Pre-Raphaelites and Olympians" exhibition held at the Gallery in 2001 succinctly describes John's art collection: "The emergence of the Schaeffer collection of Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian Olympian and 19th-century European paintings is very much a living and recent phenomenon driven by his personal love and fascination for these mysterious, intriguing, beautiful at times, melancholic but always romantic and poetic pictures."
John Schaeffer has, with assistance of international consultants, combined this art with handsome Gothic furniture, exceptional bronzes, sculpture and decorative furnishings to complete a much admired and historic house in Sydney. With the notable help of top Sydney designer Thomas Hamel, paintings have been hung and furniture placed to create splendid spaces filled with wonderful things.
The grand sandstone residence of 'Rona' sits in splendour on the knoll of Bellevue Hill, taking in extensive views of Sydney Harbour towards the city's iconic bridge. Designed by Sydney architect G.A.Morrell, 'Rona' was built for Edward Knox in 1883. Edward Knox, one of the most admired self-made commercial successes of 19th Century Australia, was founder of the Colonial Sugar Company. John Schaeffer has painstakingly restored the house and expanded the estate to re-capture its former glory and create a magnificent garden.
John Schaeffer's personal philanthropy to the arts is well documented, but it seems important at this time to remind us of the extraordinary gifts and contributions he has made to Australia's institutions.
The public art galleries of New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian National Portrait Gallery in Canberra all encompass galleries supported through John's generosity. The contemporaneous John Webber portrait of Captain Cook, which now graces the Australian National Portrait Gallery, would not be there had it not been for the considerable financial support of John Schaeffer in a sale negotiated by Christie's and Nevill Keating Pictures, London. More recently John has made significant funds available to the Art Gallery of NSW for the purchase of two Rossetti drawings and the Australian National Portrait Gallery recently received a wonderful George Lambert through his generosity.
'Rona' has been a testament to John Schaeffer's taste and foresight as a collector. The recent and forthcoming sales record his history of collecting. In consultation and with careful consideration, certain art works have been selected for sales to take place outside Australia. Old Master Pictures for London, New York and Amsterdam; Victorian Pictures for London or New York; sales of British and European Sculpture by Christie's London during Sculpture Week in June includes John's almost definitive collection of late nineteenth century bronzes by the likes of Gilbert, Gerome, Bayes, Toft, Thornycroft, Hartwell and others.
In addition to the auctions, Christie's and Nevill Keating Tollenache of London have formed a unique alliance to sell by private treaty some remarkable works by Burne-Jones, Rossetti, Leighton, Watts and others that epitomise late Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite painting and sculpture. A highly important British picture also for sale by private treaty is J.W.Waterhouse's Ophelia, a beautiful and mystical work painted in 1897 at the peak of his career. It graces the cover on the recent book by Peter Trippi.
Christie's is delighted to have been appointed by John Schaeffer to handle the sale of this truly remarkable collection.