About forty people gathered, most of them in black emerging from shiny black vehicles and only three needed to be there. The building was once a Society Decorator's business, home and eventually his funeral pyre. Today his showroom was a shrine for real estate agents who'd hung profile features of the Decorator on every spare piece of wall. The frames weren't what you'd expect, much more subtle and utilitarian. A chill ran through the tour group as the sound of a disembodied voice called for help from behind a closed door. Keen to start on time the agents had closed off the upstairs residence and some people remained trapped inside. We were really annoyed about that because we had wanted access to see (or hypothesize) where the candle might have been lit.
The auctioneer's flu-affected voice sounded like he himself had just emerged from a tinderbox. He stresses that everything inside is included, except for the chandelier and the doorknob. He assures the crowd that yes, the coffee machine is included, it's wired in. He doesn't clarify who gets all the framed memorabilia.
The Toorak kooks were there, decked out in their crazy person clobber. A dude in vintage Toyota overalls with bowling shoes, ladies with sequined caps, cheese-cutter style and scattered Pug-Bichon mixes. The bidding started at 1.3 million and three dudes fought it out to 2.05. A tall, perhaps nondescript, man won. Gesturing his way one of the kooks says to us, "A blue polo shirt, Stuart would have been appalled".
|Artist's impression of new owner|
|Doorknob not included|