The items of six generations of a family’s history will be offered for sale at the stately mansion of Boree Cabonne, near Orange, this Sunday.
Sold a year ago to the Maple-Brown family of Sydney, it is time for Andy and Tina McGeoch to empty the home.
“I’m really, really sad to sell it,” Mrs McGeoch (nee Machattie Smith, or Mac Smith) said.
“The kids say they had the best years of their lives here.”
The McGeochs have been the longest custodians of the home.
Its place in Australia’s history is rare – Major Sir Thomas Livingston Mitchell launched three of his four expeditions from the house, even beginning his foray to Mackay in North Queensland from the homestead.
John Smith, who ordered the place built, arrived in Australia in 1836.
Coming from a “strong position”, he carried a letter of introduction to NSW’s governor, Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Bourke and made his first selection at ‘Gamboola’, just outside of Molong.
A cautious man, rather than paying for carriage to Bathurst from Sydney, he walked. By 1855 land under his control was carrying 30,000 sheep.
To this day, paintings and family photographs hang on the walls.
It is an overwhelming process to create order as auctioneers catalogue and price the contents of the home’s interior, particularly as Andy and Tina prepared for their youngest son Nicholas’s wedding on one of the lawns on Saturday.
“I’d always hoped one of my children would get married on the property,” Mrs McGeoch said.
The objects to be offered for sale, almost 700 of them, include an Aucher Paris upright piano manufactured for Paling Bros and a pair of William IV fire screens decorated with the royal standard.
The list goes on – a set of 19th Century dinner gongs, ivory billiard balls, a Norman Carter painting of Lancelot Machattie Smith, prints of Wellington and Blucher meeting after the Battle of Waterloo and the death of Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar, both from the original wall paintings at the Palace of Westminster.
Viewings in situ will be on Friday and Saturday from 10am-5pm.
The auction will be handled by Sydney brokers Mossgreen and also conducted online.
A full catalogue is available at Mossgreen’s website.