Cloyne, Toorak sells again through Sotheby's

Cloyne, Toorak sells again through Sotheby's
Cloyne, Toorak sells again through Sotheby's

Cloyne, the landmark Toorak residence, has been seemingly sold again through Sotheby's International agents Greg Herman and Robert Curtain.

Other interested buyers have been advised there is a conditional contract on the property following an undisclosed accepted price offer.

The five bedroom, five bathroom Harold Desbrowe-Annear-designed house, with prominent porte cochere on Toorak Road, last sold in 2014 at $3.8 million to a Chinese businessman who had a quick change of mind.

Its last disclosed asking price was around $4.3 million.

Back in 2011 it fetched $3.5 million. 

Cloyne is one of the few substantially intact homes designed in the 1920s by Harold Desbrowe Annear.

It was built at 611 Toorak Road, Toorak in 1926 for Louis Nelken, reputedly a former Royal family butler, who married into the establishment.

Louis Nelken married Lesley Chrystal Madden, the daughter of chief justice Sir John Madden, in 1921 dressed "in girlish frocking of white satin with georgette over-scallops and a bodice strewn with pearls."

Brother Guy Madden did the giving away, and a handful of relatives saw the knot tied in the Madden Cliveden flat parlour. The party then motored to the Alexandra Club.

They finally left Cloyne with a swell party in 1955 attended by members of the Victorian establishment families, Baillieu, Hordern, Myer, Manifold, Chirnside and also the Dekyvere's from Sydney.

In the 1960s Coyne was owned by the then flamboyant playboy Don Busch, who commissioned an extensive refurbishment which was carried out over eight years. The tycoon, but inexperienced polite, died in early 1970 in a Mustang plane crash at Bendigo in country Victoria.

It sold in 1971 for $145,000 to Toorak hotelier William Drever at an auction by Ernest Trebilcock. Drever, who was accompanied by his lawyer Rodney Davidson, sold in 1992 to the Dutton family for $1.11 million. They resold in 1999 for $1.47 million. It was 

Long describe as one of the most architecturally significant buildings in Melbourne, Sothebys agent Greg Herman it was "truly a Melbourne landmark".

Comprising grand entrance, formal sitting room, informal sitting/dining room and kitchen, they open north via French doors to the swimming pool and cabana.

There is a paneled study, ballroom and private guest quarters.

Other owners of the historic home were the luxury car dealer Jeff Dutton and his wife, Gay, who sold in 1999 for $1.47 million.

The Australian Dictionary of Biography write that after World War I, Annear prepared several fine, simple designs which freely used the classical vocabulary.

"Notable among these are the graceful Church Street bridge, Richmond (1924), and Cloyne at 609 Toorak Road (1929), which has a jewel-like quality and is unified by the judicious repetition of a Venetian window motif.

"Such excellent buildings as Cloyne have unjustly been presented as an embarrassment by some of Annear's later admirers, but he believed those who argued for a utilitarian architecture were asking for a non-architecture: they 'did not know definitely what architecture consists of'.

"In fact he pursued throughout a tempered eclecticism," it suggested.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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