Villa Alba is an important example of decoration from the final quarter of the 19th century. It is the work of Scottish- trained Paterson Brothers and includes an eclectic mixture of painted, stencilled and gilded decoration.
European sources of the designs used have not yet been identified, but their work demonstrates a familiarity with top overseas design books, together with a great facility in combining diverse design elements.
Much of the decoration over-painted in the 1950s is slowly being revealed again and brought back to life so that visitors can enjoy and appreciate the artistic and technical details of the decoration.
Further information on Villa Alba can be obtained from an article entitled ‘Greenlaw’s Folly’ by Jessie Serle published in The Australian Antique Collector Jan/Jun 1993.
While it is not intended that Villa Alba will be furnished as a ‘house’ museum, the richness of its interiors can be conjured up by a reading of the 67 page inventory of the two day sale of 1897. A copy of this catalogue, with its details of the original furniture and ornaments in the house, can be obtained at Villa Alba.
Details supplied for the rooms
were compiled from the leaflet “Greenlaw’s
Folly: Villa Alba and the Auction Catalogue of 1897
by Andrew Dixon.