Sep 26, 2011

On the Market: Painted Ceilings, Ballrooms & a Slice of History

  Oh, let's imagine how grand a ball 
may have been had in the 1870s,
at this lovely mansion for sale
just outside Melbourne.
Mt Rothwell was built in 1873
in the Victorian Italianate style.
The exquisitely painted original ceilings in this drawing room
were done by the American artist Clay Beeler.
Clay Beeler had recently finished his extraordinary murals 
in the Royal Exhibition Building,
built for the International Exhibition of 1880,
at a time of great prosperity and enthusiasm for 
the future in the new Industrial Age.
Themes of mythology, Empire & the Modern Age 
were represented in murals painted on the ceilings & walls,
like this "Night" sylph.
Beeler's bill for painting the interior and exterior of 
the Exhibition Building was £18,195.
In 1873! Yikes, that was a HUGE cost!
(Puts a modern painting bill in perspective.)
Ah, such elegant times the 1880s were for the wealthy folk.
Do you think these gentlemen may care for a quick game 
of billiards in our Mt Rothwell mansion?
It's ready and waiting for them.
In fact, I would rather like to play a shot or two in this lovely room.
Will you join me?
The homestead has been recently renovated by the current owners,
who have brought it back to its former glory.
Let's take a peek at what they have done...
A Victorian clawfoot bath sits regally 
amongst marble floor tiles & floral patterned wall tiles,
contrasted with plain white walls & simple joinery
in the newly renovated bathroom.
I love the idea of a walk in linen press. 
And certainly love the prospect of a ladies' withdrawing room.
Some elements, such as the wonderful cream-enamelled wood stove,
have been left to sit gently next to a more modern kitchen fitout.
And the opulence of the original mansion
lives on in this glamourous bathroom with sparkling white 
mosaic tiles & a chandelier over the bath.
Built for an age of grand entertaining,
the homestead of 24 rooms
sits on land of 124 hectares,
and yet it is a 35 minute drive to Melbourne.

So if you have a spare $4 million, 
would you like to live here?

Property: Mt Rothwell Estate, 985 Little River-Ripley Rd, Little River, Victoria
Agents & property images: RT Edgar
1880s Victorian fashion: The Black Tie Guide


  1. Hello Miss Virginia

    I do like it but I really would rather $4 mill for the beachfront I want.
    Now how would  you and I design that - Scandinavian meets Australian coastal - mmmm... yes please.

    I loved the distinguished look of the clothing  but the personal hygiene left a lot to be desired!

    have a lovely day



  2. Rachel {Da Paura}26/9/11 12:24 PM

    Absolutely spectacular!  I adore discovering the history behind a place, it adds mystery and beauty!  Love this!

  3. What? You don't fancy bathing just on Saturdays Loulou? 

  4. Thrilled you feel that way too Rachel! It adds so many layers to a building when you know a little of its history, I reckon. 

  5. Interior Decorator Burlington26/9/11 2:56 PM

    I loved the distinguished look of the clothing  but the
    personal hygiene left a lot to be desired!


    Thanks for sharing such good information, Brilliant concept.
    Interior Decorator Burlington

  6. Jane and Lance Hattatt26/9/11 3:14 PM

    Hello Virginia:
    It really does look all very splendid and it is to be hoped that it will find new, sympathetic owners . The decorative details are most attractive. Have a happy week!

  7. Anyaadores26/9/11 4:05 PM

    Hello Virginia, Oh this place is lush - I'd love to live and party there. The details are gorgeous.
    I would like this as a weekend pad and a seafront one for the rest of the week ha ha:)
    Have a great monday,

  8. Hello Jane and Lance! Yes, hopefully the new owners will love it with as much passion as the current ones, who have brought it back to sumptuousness from the sad state it was in previously. It is wonderful to be able to keep these old treasures. 

  9. What a marvelous idea Anya! It would be a pretty good life going between the two. 

  10. Stylish Irish26/9/11 6:26 PM

    I need a ladies withdrawing room! Great post. Claire from Stylish Irish

  11. Thanks for you lovely comment in my blog. I really like interior design and I´d love to live here of course, it is a beautiful place.
    You have a great blog,tell me if you want to follow each other.Thanks!

  12. Great post! Thanks for your comment and I hope you enjoyed my blog! xx


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