Dave’s Faves from the Dame Nellie Melba Collection

More than 80 years after her passing, opera singer Dame Nellie Melba is still famous –  Australia’s first international megastar.

Now, Sotheby’s offer 162 objects, jewellery and paintings from her personal collection, many of them personalised with Melba’s monogram, at an auction in Melbourne at the end of the month.

Sotheby’s will be like a museum exhibition and make a very enjoyable visit, in particular with many of the items bearing famous names too – think Tiffany or Cartier.

It is of course the pictures we are most interested in, and David could not resist picking his favourites, as Melba’s taste in paintings was also quite refined.

Norman Lindsay Sunbathing

Lot 69, Norman Lindsay, Sunbathing on a Rocky Outcrop, est. $6,000-$8,000. – Slip, Slop, Slap

Here are “Dave’s Faves” of the collection of Dame Nellie Melba GBE:

Lot 44 – Hans Heysen, Zinnias, 1914, est. $18,000-$22,000. Heysen’s still lifes are often overlooked – undeservedly so

Lot 55 – Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, Jack O’Lantern (1916), est. $6,000-$8,000. Ida at her magical best

Lot 48 – Thea Proctor, Lady with Camelias, c.1923, est. $5,000-$7,000. Magnificent composition

Lot 49 – Arthur Streeton, The Windsor Damsel, Fishing (1903), est. $40,000-$50,000. This damsel is definitely not in distress

Lot 51 – Hilda Rix Nicholas, The Moorish Archway (1912/14), est. $4,000-$6,000. How to draw

Lot 62 – Ethel Spowers, Nursery Rhyme 1927, est. $3,000-$4,000. “Little girl, little girl where have you been…”

Lot 65 – Elioth Gruner, The Picnic 1922, est. $30,000-$40,000. Halcyon Days

Lot 69 – Norman Lindsay, Sunbathing on a Rocky Outcrop, est. $6,000-$8,000. Slip Slop Slap

Visit Sotheby’s website to see all lots and images.

Of course we are happy to assist if something takes your fancy.

Viewing in Sydney is from Thursday, 19 March until Sunday 22 March at Sotheby’s premises at 30 Queen Street, Woollahra.

The Melbourne viewing is held from 26 March to 31 March at Level 9, 41 Exhibition Street.

The auction takes place on 31 March, 6 pm, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 123 Collins Street, Melbourne.


Written by

Hi, my name is Brigitte Banziger and I am an art consultant and manager at Banziger Hulme Fine Art Consultants, Australia's art valuation and art advice experts. We specialise in art valuations for insurance purposes, for family division, deceased estates, superannuation funds and market values, and advise clients regarding purchase and sales of art (art brokerage). Our services are sought by private clients, companies, public galleries and councils alike. Our aim is to provide professional service with friendly, approachable manner.

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