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Australian Period Home Style

Australian Period Home Style No. 11

Australian Period Style is a unique annual magazine that looks at where we come from and how we once lived. It offers an opportunity to explore period decorating for Australian homes showcasing two centuries of style which has previously included Colonial Georgian, Old English Gothic, High Victorian, Between the Wars and Postwar Modern. Period Style not only defines the styles, provides examples of houses and of decoration but gives readers an insight into the many influences and contradictions that could be taken into account when renovating their homes.

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Universal Wellbeing PTY Limited

in this issue

2 min
from the editor

Once again, this beautiful issue of Australian Period Home Style is bursting with a host of interesting and informative articles and stunning photography, so as a result I can’t help but be excited about this issue. Firstly, we have six beautiful feature homes to share. Of particular note is a gorgeous eight-bedroom Georgian property in Cressy, Tasmania — Lake House (page 62). Built around 1830, it looks like something straight out of the pages of a Jane Austen novel. In Victoria, we look at the beautiful Coombe — The Melba Estate, which was the Yarra Valley home of Australian opera legend Dame Nellie Melba. She lived here until her death in 1931 and now it has been transformed into an elegant restaurant, fashion and art gallery, cellar door and providore that pays…

4 min
an authentic time capsule

Built in 1863 for James Butchart, then the richest man in Victoria, Beleura was said to be the finest mansion in the colony. It was built by William Grover and designed by architect Joseph Reed, the man responsible for the Royal Exhibition Buildings, the Melbourne Town Hall and the State Library of Victoria. Beleura was used as a summer retreat by two Victorian state governors, then for a short time it became Mornington Grammar School. In around 1900, it was bought as an investment by Robert Smith and given to his daughter, Helen Macpherson Smith, whose bequest in 1951 established a charitable trust in her name. The property was purchased in 1916 by Sir George Tallis, the man behind the iconic JC Williamson theatre conglomerate. After his death in 1948, it became…

7 min
the blackswan- of-newsouth- wales

At Moorabool Antiques, we are always looking for interesting items related to Australia that appear from time to time overseas. One such recent discovery was a Davenport Pottery plate, beautifully painted with an obvious Australian bird. It has an inscription on the back to make its identity absolutely clear: “The black-swan-of-New- South-Wales”. This iconic image illustrates the strange alien nature of the Great Southern Land. It is linked to the earliest exploration of the continent, with the accidental visits of Dutch ships on their way to the East Indies in the early 17th century. This took place in the north-western edge of the landmass, a desolate land populated by the native people, strange animals and black swans. To a 17th-century European, this was startling and impossible — in fact, they had…

3 min
welsh wonders

You’ve probably never heard of Welsh porcelain, unless you’re already a collector. Two factories produced it — both made superb porcelain in the period around 1820, both were also the work of William Billingsley and both factories survived only a few years. The factories were located at Nantgarw (pronounced Nant-gar-oo by the Welsh, but usually pronounced Nant-garrow by collectors) and Swansea, unlikely places for making porcelain — they were far from the needed supplies, there were no experienced workers in the area and they weren’t close to the market for porcelain, which was in London. William was previously employed by the Worcester Porcelain Factory, where he was tasked to improve the works being manufactured. While he was able to make improvements, his ultimate recipe was impractical, as although the result was…

3 min
the beauty of old-cut diamonds

While many names are given to a variety of diamonds cut before 1940 (old European, transition cut, early brilliant and old mine cut to go back even further), for simplicity, we refer to them in this article as old-cut diamonds. Cut by hand, each facet is unique and the finished product tells its own story. As with diamonds today, those cut early in the last century encapsulate the values of their time. With cutters loath to waste through over-cutting, an oldcut diamond will come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and often has a larger top half (heavy crown and smaller table) than is common today. With a few clues, it is not hard to see some of telltale signs of an oldcut diamond: larger open facets; nonsymmetrical shapes and an…

4 min
french furniture styles

LOUIS XIV-PERIOD FRENCH FURNITURE (1661–1700) Louis XIV took the throne in 1661, and commissioned furnishings and decor to reflect glory, wealth and power. You only need to look at his home, the Palace of Versailles, to understand his vision and taste. Many of the lavish and flamboyant pieces from this period or pieces created in the Louis XIV style can also be described as baroque. Baroque is a style characterised by rich, heavy detail and overly ornate forms and can be best described as decorative excess. Baroque can also refer to the style of art, music and architecture from 17th-century Rome, which was popular during the reign of Louis XIV. LOUIS XV-PERIOD FRENCH FURNITURE (1723–1774) During this period, the French rococo style was prominent in the decorative arts scene. Rococo style was developed in the…