Unbeknownst to many Orange residents, several large sheds in Glenroi have housed what Steve Archer believes to be the largest privately-owned collection of early Colonial Australian furniture in the country.
And on Sunday, it all must go.
The sheds are to be demolished in response to them being "consistently" broken into by young vandals - who have also caused thousands of dollars' worth of damage to his collection, Mr Archer says.
The retired furniture restorer, valuer, and art dealer has been amassing the "overwhelming" collection for the past 50 years.
For the last five, he has been moving the bulk of his antiques and original art from Sydney to Orange.
"In the shed I've got many paintings by Australia's most famous painters... I was right at the very pinnacle of the art market and I had a very discerning eye so I bought the very, very best," he said.
"I've been involved with antiques all my life - it was my hobby, and history was my passion.
"I kept accumulating [them] for my retirement which has come around. I'm now 64 and I was settling down with my kids in Orange."
Many of it, dating from as far back as 1820, was bought during the 1980s as Mr Archer travelled throughout rural and outback Australia while working as an auctioneer and stock and station agent. A lot of it was even made by convicts, he says.
The collector had hoped to continue his restoration work on the furniture but after the latest break-in caused him an estimated "$100,000 minimum" in damage, he says he's had enough.
"These kids have been breaking into the property for the last two or three years and smashing the windows... They're consistently on the roofs of my sheds," Mr Archer said.
"I did my best to keep them out but then two weeks ago they managed to break through the roof and climb in.... and basically they smashed paint [cans] open and threw it on everything.
"Then they took to the goods with a chainsaw and smashed the legs off all the chairs. [They] basically just demolished everything. "
The young vandals had also spray-painted graffiti across the walls, declaring, among other things, "Go on, try to keep us out".
Some of the items in the 5,000 collection in the sheds include a circa 1800 bed which Mr Archer recently rejected a bid of $90,000 for, a piece of furniture that was made by colonial politician Sir Henry Parkes and dozens of original artworks painted by Australian masters; including David Boyd, Charles Blackman, John Olsen, Adam Cullen and Tim Storrier, among others.
"The sheds are going to be bulldozed in a week's time... so I've got seven days to get this shit out of here and I have no-where to take it," Mr Archer said.
"I'm really against the wall and I really don't have a lot of options. I have to accept what people are going to be prepared to pay.
Mr Archer said just the other day he sold an authentic Storrier at auction for an eye-watering amount which he asked not to be publicised.
Another rare piece in his collection - a single tile sold for $70,000. It had been in the shed when the young vandals broke in but had avoided damage.
The auction will commence Sunday at 10am at the sheds at 81 Glenroi Avenue. Doors open 8am. For more information, contact Mr Archer on 0413 947 170.
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