Emerald city: Ashton polo family to auction homestead’s contents

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Heirlooms on block

The Ashton polo family will auction the contents of their Markdale sheep station homestead tomorrow following the sale of the property in February for about $5.8 million to a Sydney family. The 2600ha holding in Mulgowrie Road, Binda, near Crookwell, has been held by the Ashton family since 1920 and was sold by retired company director Geoff Ashton and wife Mary, who trained at the New York School of Interior Design. The property features a Leslie Wilkinson-designed four-bedroom homestead, as well as feature gardens designed by celebrated landscape designer Edna Walling. Auctioneers Shapiro said the most valuable pieces of the 350 on offer were a silver and ivory figure of a medieval lady, which is expected to fetch up to $10,000. While a Rix Wright bronze garden sculpture of a shearer is expected to sell for up to $15,000. Markdale was bought nearly 100 years ago by James Ashton a parliamentarian and later chairman of MLC and the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney (now NAB). Ashton’s four sons went on to have successful international polo careers in the US, India and Britain. Markdale was the home of regular polo schools for budding players, including a young Kerry Packer. Colliers International director Richard Royle did the deal but would not comment.

Schwarer mansion sold

An offshore-based Australian expat was the buyer of Arthur Schwarer’s Gilliver Avenue, Vaucluse, mansion for about $4.2m. The property known as “Sofala” was sold by Alexander Phillips of Phillips Pantzer Donnelley’s Woollahra office late last year. Billed as a “taste of Palm Springs” in the elite harbour enclave, the property was owned by Schwarer for the past 37 years. The three-storey property includes an entire floor master retreat. Lawsons recently auctioned the contents of “Sofala”, including a Ray Crooke oil painting that attracted a $10,000-plus bid.

$12m for Fiani home

The retired Fiani family reaped about $12m from the sale of their Wentworth Place, Point Piper mansion with views over Sydney Harbour. Sothebys International agents James McCowan and ­Stephen Boulden first listed the Michael Suttor-designed property at about $11m last year. The three-level north-facing property features a double height entry foyer, three double bedrooms, swimming pool and various decks. It sold via private treaty to an undisclosed buyer.

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