Apartment in Bellevue Hill 1920s The Silchester block sold for $4.5 million

Apartment in Bellevue Hill 1920s The Silchester block sold for $4.5 million
Title TattleDecember 7, 2020

An apartment in The Silchester, the 1920s Spanish Mission apartment block in Bellevue Hill, sold at auction this month for $4,501,000.

It was bought by Clem Kennedy, the director of C.R. Kennedy & Co, Australia's leading importer and distributor of photography, cinematic and camera equipment.

Its tipped the family might be upgrading within the block.

The three bedroom apartment with covered alfresco entertaining balcony is the largest apartment at 215 square metre.

Sally Hampshire at Laing + Simmons Double Bay sold the apartment on behalf of Clara and David Lewis, one of the three brothers who owned Masterfoods.  

Apartment in Bellevue Hill 1920s The Silchester block sold for $4.5 million

It is the former apartment of revered conservationist, the interior and floral designer Dame Helen Blaxland.

Dame Helen moved in during in late 1960s and stayed until she relocated to a Camden Park cottage in 1983.

She had previously called Glen Rhoda in Woollahra home, although it was dubbed Brush at the time.

The Wallaroy Road property, set in a 1205-square-metre garden with a magnolia as old as the 1863 house, had Professor Leslie Wilkinson adaptions after it traded at £4500 in 1940. Shortly after she gave William Dobell his first portrait commission at the house.

Blaxland's engineer husband, Gregory, was a descendant of the Blue Mountains crossing explorer Gregory Blaxland, and the Downer family from Adelaide.

The Blackland's sold Brush in 1968 for $74,000 to Leon and Margaret Fink.  

Following the example of the National Trust's founder, Annie Wyatt, Dame Helen is best known for establishing the National Trust women's committee in 1961 which raised funds and awareness of the importance of retaining and maintaining colonial homes. She collaborated with Max Dupain to photograph threatened heritage homes in the an exhibition titled, No Time to Spare.

The National Portrait Gallery historian Sarah Engledow wrote of the decisive and effective nature of the women involved in the committee – "impatient with obstacles, disdainful of bureaucrats and focused on results".

In 1978 Tamie Fraser, wife of the Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, established the Australiana Fund to acquire works of art and furniture for the Lodge, Kirribilli House, Government House and Admiralty House. Blaxland became foundation chairman.

On moving into the official residences, Tamie Fraser had been surprised, "there was not even a salad bowl of Gough Whitlam's".

This article first appeared in The Daily Telegraph. 

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