At the time, Australia’s largest landholder William Clarke and his family spared no expense in either the construction or embellishment of the 28-bedroom, five-bathroom Cliveden mansion, total cost a staggering £182,000.
In addition to the Italian stained glass and team of Florence craftsmen brought out to work on the fittings, oak panelling was shipped from England and three oversize marble fireplaces were incorporated into the dining room.
In 1888, the family moved into the mansion and – considered a major showpiece famous for its size, settings and views – the house soon became the centre of Melbourne’s elite social scene.
In 1909 on wife Janet’s death, the mansion was sold to the Baillieu family who converted it to 48 luxury apartments, much sought after because of their opulence and the Cliveden name.
However, at by the end of World War II, perks such as a communal dining room and shared garage and mechanic were deemed unnecessary and the ageing building’s prestige began to slip.
In 1968, the Baillieu family sold the by now decrepit apartment block and it was controversially demolished to make way for the new high rise Hilton Hotel.
Another Cliveden fixture at Aingers auction is one of the dining room fireplaces – an outstanding 19th century Carrara marble mantel and fireplace surround containing dentil mouldings above a frieze of carved cherubs and foliage designed and sculpted by the Florentian craftsmen.
A third is the grand entrance doors to the original Cliveden dining hall featuring stained and leaded glass with a rose medallion in each panel, also specifically designed and crafted.
The remainder of the auction features furniture and furnishings that Aingers has stored for years including Australian, English and French antique furniture and contemporary household furnishings.
Other attractions include architectural furniture such as antique wooden and iron doors, French palatial mirror and upright glass display cabinets.
Auction goers will be interested in the genuine Persian and contemporary floor rugs – along with an outstanding pair of life size sculptured marble sphinxes.
A major drawcard is a magnificent Victorian flame mahogany library bookcase and a French walnut four-leaf banquet dining table.
There also are five antique English mahogany cased eight-day grandfather clocks and superbly carved English baronial furniture.
Other features include a Tasmanian Huon pine wardrobe and dressing table and a large selection of Victorian, Edwardian and 1920s Australian, English, French and oriental furniture.
Viewing of the Cliveden Room fixtures is at the Pullman Hotel while the remainder of the lots can be viewed at Baker street Richmond. Details are available on the Ainger's web site.