South Yarra home of late art dealer, keen pilot flies past reserve at auction
A South Yarra unit that was home to a respected art dealer before she died at 104 has soared past reserve at auction.
Joan McClelland — also a former Argus journalist and keen pilot — had lived at 1/34 Tivoli Rd about 20 years before her death in 2017.
The two-bedroom, ground-floor unit was announced on the market about $1.1 million and carried on to fetch $1.227 million.
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Kay & Burton director Gowan Stubbings said three bidders tussled for the home with a charming courtyard garden, with two other prospective buyers missing the opportunity to put their hands up.
“There was strong bidding,” he said.
“There’s not a lot of stock about, so when good properties like this come up, they sell.
“This year, the market has been a hell of a lot stronger than it was last year.”
A young professional outlasted several downsizers to win the keys.
Listing agent Clive Nettlefold, a Kay & Burton associate, sold the unit to Ms McClelland in 1998, when she was in her 80s.
CoreLogic records show it changed hands for $370,000 then.
Mr Nettlefold said Ms McClelland had liked its single-level floorplan — which had appealed to plenty of downsizer buyers during this selling campaign too — and its prized Tivoli Rd position.
“She was a very interesting lady who led an interesting life. She even had a pilot’s licence in the ‘30s,” he said.
Ms McClelland’s family believes she met husband Joshua McClelland while he was also writing for The Argus, about antiques.
He ran a gallery in Collins St — a business Ms McClelland became involved in, and later took over and dubbed the Joshua McClelland Print Room when her husband died suddenly in 1956.
She also notably acted as London auction house Christie’s Melbourne representative.
Ms McClelland lived in several South Yarra homes during her life.