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Lot Description
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Brothel Collection
Miss Elizabeth Keartland's brass plaque, her 'therapist's vertical-to-horizontal green leather and horsehair chair and the two spelter statuettes
Elizabeth Keartland was said to be one of Melbourne's first high class masseuses offering her services to the professional community in the early 1900s. The collection consists of the three main items that identify her establishment as a gentleman's 'relaxation retreat' - as opposed to a 'house of ill-repute'. The pair of spelter statuettes, which were said to have adorned her reception area, were possibly made at a Geelong foundry but could also have been imported from England. They are fine examples of art nouveau for those who couldn't afford the bronzes and are emblazoned with copper inscriptions at the base of 'Confidence' and 'Discretion'. Just what every tired politician who came through the door wanted to be assured of in those days. Her brass plaque was made by Little Collins st manufacturers, C.C. Roeszler, who did many of the professional signs in Melbourne in those years. The collapsible green quilted-leather and horsehair massage chair, is a corker. It would have taken 'sir' from an upright sitting position from which he would no doubt have had a scotch or gin to calm him down after his busy day, through to a prone position from which Ms Keartland would have been able to minister to his tension areas. Left to the Museum by a kind but anonymous benefactor.
Estimate $2,500-3,500
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