- For over 30 years until he retired in 1995, Geoff Smith was a well known identity in Church Street, Brighton – assiduously handing out prescriptions to cure the ails and ills of local residents. Geoff was the last of the apprentice pharmacists, learning the age-old skills of mixing potions, ointments and creams for his customers. Now, he has sold his Brighton home and is moving into smaller premises that will be easier to manage in retirement.
Remnants of Geoff Smith’s pharmacy business are still within his enormous traditional home at 8 Black Street, Brighton – a home he and his late wife Venloe spent 40 years tending while all Geoff had to do was walk out the back door and round the corner each day to his chemist shop in Church Street. The house became a haven for all their collectibles including his apothecary jars Geoff purchased from the famous Oggs Pharmacy in Collins Street, a dessicator for drying leaves, plants and medicants, and several perfume factices used for window displays.
Now 72, Geoff has decided it is time to downsize and has sold his treasured home. Auctioneer Phil Caldwell will auction the contents on site from 11am Sunday and auction goers have the opportunity to purchase many quality items. Highlights are an Australian cedar three-leaf dining table that seats 14, a mahogany sideboard, burr walnut tables and salon cabinets and a classic club lounge suite. One of Pro Hart’s most important works, a three-metre long painting of Gallipoli, is up for auction along with David Boyd’s The Blessing that sold in 2002 for $80,000 and Hugh Sawrey’s pub scene Studying the Form. Other works are by traditional artists Arthur Streeton, J.A. Turner, J.H. Scheltema and Louis Buvelot along with paintings by Hans Heysen, Norman Lindsay and Albert Namatjira, John Kelly, Leonard Long, Robert Dickerson and Cumbrae Stewart.
The house also features a twin pedestal walnut roll top desk, a 110-piece Limoge dinner set, a collection of 2000-year-old Chinese items (including Sung Dynasty temple dogs, a Han Dynasty bronze and a set of Tang musicians), large Roman marble mosaics from 1st to 3rd century AD, Greek 4th century AD vase and ancient Egyptian gold, silver and lapis jewellery, and a 40-lot expensive wine collection. Other items include an early 18th century oyster walnut and marquetry Queen Anne longcase clock by Tho Wintworth, an early 17th century massive Boulle bracket clock signed by Vuarinand, a stunning 19th century Kalliope penny operated standing music box with bells and discs, and a 1906 floor standing library globe by W & A.K. Johnston, London. Auction: Sunday August 14 11am Viewing: Friday August 12 Saturday Augsut 13 10am-6pm Sunday August 14 9.30am-10.45am Contact: 0411 529 414.