Jeffrey Smart's Tuscany home being resold by Australian owner

The Tuscany home of the late, famed Australian painter Jeffrey Smart, has been relisted for sale by its Australian owners, telecommunications entrepreneurs, Steven and Leanne Grives.

The 600-year-old Tuscan villa was sold five years ago following Smart's death in 2013 aged 91.

It was art dealer Philip Bacon who secured the Australian buyers of Posticcia Nuova which had been bought in the early 1970s by Smart and his partner Ermes De Zan.

Christie's International's Ken Jacobs had listed it with an A$2,658,000 asking price in 2015.

The Fonebox telecommunications entrepreneurs, Steven and Leanne Grives are now seeking €3.2 million (AU$5.29 million).

The stone farmhouse in the Chianti Hills, near the town of Greve, and about 1.5 hours from Florence, was originally part of the Noble Florentine Sierristori family estate.

With the great agricultural reform ordered by Grand Duke Leopold II the land which nowadays houses the villa entered the possession of the Serristori family, owners at the time of a great villa in Figline Valdarno which was then gifted for the creation of a hospital (named Ospedale Serristori) which still remains the reference point for Valdarno.

Its old barn was turned in to a painting retreat. 

The grand estate sits in 15.7 hectares of private botanical garden surrounds, with one hectare of agricultural land. 

In the grounds is a 14 metre swimming pool, accompanied by a two-level, self-contained pool house with gym and accomodation.

The income from the olive grove, in a good harvest year, is around €10,000 (AU$16,500).

There is also a small return on eggs and vegetables.

The estimated production of a vineyard of one hectare could be around 70 hectolitres.

There is an employee at the property – as the owners do not live in Italy – working five days a week plus a couple of hours in the weekend looking after chickens. His salary is €2,300 (AU$3,800) 

At the time Smart bought the historic farmhouse there was "no lavatory and one tap", he told ABC Radio a few years before he died. "I just adore it here."

In the 43 years following that purchase Smart and his partner Ermes De Zan restored the historic farmhouse, and have run a successful olive and sheep breeding operation on the 18 hectares.

There were 1500 olive trees, and six hectares dedicated to woods, leaving the remainder to breeding pedigree Suffolk sheep.

It is only the fourth time listed in six centuries.


Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

Tuscan Villa Jeffrey Smart

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