ACQUIRED for £52,000 by the Australian businessman John Schaeffer at Christie’s, London in June 1996, this striking oil on canvas, right, A Dancing Athlete with an Olive Branch, by Frederic Leighton (1830-1896), comes under the hammer again on May 15.
Estimated at A$150,000-250,000 (£60,000-100,000) it is one of more than 600 lots being sold by Christie’s at Schaeffer’s imposing, sandstone home, Rona, which overlooks Sydney Harbour.
Many of the pictures in this two-day sale were acquired from the London trade, including Julian Hartnoll, The Maas Gallery and Peter Nahum.
In addition to future auctions, including a fine collection of late 19th century bronzes to be offered in London in June, Christie’s and the St James’s dealership Nevill Keating Tollemache have formed a unique alliance to sell by private treaty some of the major Victorian paintings from the Schaeffer Collection. One of the heavyweights is JW Waterhouse’s (1849-1917) Ophelia, purchased at Phillips in June 2000 at £1.5m.