Transport tycoon Sir Peter Abeles' matrimonial timewarp listing in Bellevue Hill

Transport tycoon Sir Peter Abeles' matrimonial timewarp listing in Bellevue Hill
Transport tycoon Sir Peter Abeles' matrimonial timewarp listing in Bellevue Hill

The former Bellevue Hill matrimonial home of the late transport tycoon Sir Peter Abeles has been listed with $11 million-plus hopes.

The listing presents a rare opportunity as it last sold 45 years ago.

Sundorne, the six-bedroom Victoria Road mansion was home to Sir Peter and his first wife, the arts patron and founder of the Sydney International Piano Competition, Claire Dan during the period when Sir Peter was cementing his place in Australia’s corporate life.

The two-storey English Manor-style interiors are still filled with the furniture and fittings installed by Peter and Claire (pictured below).


One can almost image Sir Peter playing poker with his regular guests who included the Premier, Sir Robert Askin.

The inspectees can even spot a lamp stand fashioned in the likeness of former ACTU boss and Prime Minister Bob Hawke that stands close to the large leather writing desk in the library that overlooks the water.

Sir Peter bought Sundorne from the well-connected establishment Simpson lawyer family in 1958 through his company P.A. Holdings Pty Ltd for about £60,000.



The couple had emigrated from Hungary in 1949 with little money in the post-war exodus from Europe.

The couple divorced a decade after purchasing Sundorne with Ms Dan retaining a life tenancy of the home set along the property’s very long and very private tree-lined drive. Title Tattle recalls Ms Dan divorced Peter in 1968 after learning that his frequent absences from the marital home were because he was living with the then Katalin Frank, also known as Fischer, at the Wentworth Hotel. Sir Peter was knighted in 1972.


The 2550sq m site has a full-size flood-lit tennis court and in-ground pool with district and harbour views reaching from the city skyline and bridge to Manly in the north. After a long battle with cancer Sir Peter, who relocated to Vaucluse in 1970 paying $450,000 for Villa Igiea, died in June 1999 aged 75. As Sir Peter lay unconscious just hours before his death, Bob Hawke paid a visit to the Vaucluse home to bid his friend of 30 years a final farewell.

Ms Dan passed away last October.


Sundorne, at 23 Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill, will be auctioned Wednesday May 22 through Daniel Baran and Reece Coleman at BHR Estate Agents in conjunction with Sydney Sotheby's International agents Michael Pallier and Matt Ratcliffe.

The contents of the home including furniture and exceptional items from Claire Dan’s couture wardrobe will be auctioned by Andrew Shapiro of Shapiro Auctions on Sunday June 23.

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.

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