Sunbury's Mintaro – a mini Government House – listed with $3 million hopes
Mintaro, the 1882 Monegeetta, Sunbury district mansion, has been listed for November auction. It's a smaller replica of Melbourne's Government House, which was built by a Captain Robert Gardiner to a design by architect James Gall.
The 9.9-hectare estate is an executor's sale, which will conclude 78 years of family ownership by the Rae family.
"A once undeniably grand and gracious country residence is now in need of total restoration with outstanding future use potential," its listing agent John Keating of Keatings Real Estate said.
The property is 56 kilometres from the Melbourne GPO at Monegeetta on the Melbourne Lancefield Road.
John Keating has advised potential buyers of its $3 million reserve price in the advertising material for the Victorian Period Italiante-style mansion.
"Buyers love the transparency of declared reserve auctions and if the reserve is set at a realistic amount, the publication of the reserve price acts like a buyer-enquiry magnet," he suggests.
It has been listed by the executors of the estate of Derek Rea.
When the house was entered on the register of the National Estate in 1978, the accompanying notes indicated that it was in a "superb state of intactness and is being meticulously restored."
It's close to land owned by the Department of Defence for its Land Engineering Agency (LEA).
Photos of the house in 2007 on Walking Melbourne show it surrounded by dozens of derelict cars prior to its yard clearance sale.
Picture courtesy of Walking Melbourne
Robert Gardiner was born in Scotland in 1812. He and his first wife, Susan Foley, had five children. He first came to Tasmania, where he was involved in the whaling industry. He was one of the earliest European settlers in the Berwick area, having taken up a pastoral lease in 1837.
The front room of the property is painted with his initials on the ceiling.
The walls are painted with friezes of whaling, pastoral and gold mining, which is reputedly how he made his money.
Robert Gardiner, who was the great grandfather of ballet dancer Sir Robert Helpmann, died in South Yarra in 1889.
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Meanwhile, Mike Quigley, boss of the federal government's National Broadband Network, has also sold his Mosman mansion recently at $3,555,000. It represented a loss on the $3.6 million paid in 2007.