News Corp Australia Network
The Paddington home of the late artist Jocelyn Plate is up for sale for the first time in 65 years and at one point its walls were literally made of money.
Daughter Cassi Plate, also an artist and author, remembers the day her mother found pound notes worth about $5000 in the walls.
“We reckon a bookie must have lived there at one point — why else would there be so much money stashed in the walls,” Cassi said.
Jocelyn moved into the cute character cottage at 4 Alexander St in 1977, after the death of her husband, the prominent Australian modernist painter, Carl Plate.
Following Jocelyn’s death at the ripe old age of 100 in February, the three-bedroom cottage is now up for auction via BresicWhitney’s Maclay Longhurst and Emily Davidson with a $2.2m price guide.
Given its charm and the 163 sqm block, it’s expected to be popular at the November 5 auction.
But it was the weatherboard cottage’s convenience to St Vincent’s Hospital that had led to Jocelyn buying it in 1957 on behalf of her mother, Clarice Zander, also an artist, who curated the first exhibition of modern art in Australia.
“My grandmother bought it because she was in and out of hospital at St Vincents,” said Cassi, who treasures the Christmas card illustration that Clarice did of the Paddington house she’d named “Bloomfield Cottage’.
“It was a very poor area at the time so the cottage certainly wasn’t expensive.”
Since that time, it’s been home to four generations of the Plate family, with it also being rented out to family and friends, including art curator Daniel Thomas and actor Pamela Stephenson.
Cassi herself lived there in the early 70s.
“It’s got quite a big spacious garden and I kept two old FJ Holdens there,” she says.
“Paddington was a fun place and so many people remember coming to parties at the house and the huge collection of art books.”
In recent years, after Jocelyn moved out needing extra care, Cassi based herself at the house to write a large portion of her latest novel, Monster and Colossus, which is based on letters between Costas Taktsis, one of Greece’s most important post-war writers, and Cassi’s father.
“Nearly all of the 10 great grandchildren have stayed or lived in the Paddo house at various times,” Cassi said.