Taught by Sir William Dargie, she was a respected portrait painter and lifelong philanthropist who donated generously to many charities and for more than 50 years carried out pro bono committee work for the Australian Ballet and the National Gallery Women’s Association.
Through her extensive travels Sue possessed a legion of lifelong friends in Europe, the United States and Australia.
She was married to James Cecil and her last trip overseas at age 90 was to a gathering of the Cecil family at Burghley House.
Sue surrounded herself with beautiful things and the auction reflects her refined and eclectic taste.
Never before seen publicly, her personal collection includes paintings by Frederick McCubbin, one of which was a wedding gift to Sue and James in 1941 from the McCubbin family, Norman Lindsay and Clarice Beckett.
The wedding gift is entitled Bush Landscape 1910, while the other McCubbin is called Landscape, South Yarra. Norman Lindsay’s work Polite Conversation 1942 and Clarice Beckett’s Low Tide are equally impressive.
The auction, which has been divided into three sections, includes art, jewellery, furniture, decorative arts and significant selection of Japanese netsuke.
Among the jewellery is a 3.40 carat solitaire diamond ring, a gold and diamond turban ring, a pair of diamond dress clips and an unusual diamond bracelet.
The furniture features a Louis XV marble top commode, a Louis XVI kingwood kidney shaped writing desk, a Bluthner walnut grand piano, a 19th century French Boulle bonheur du jour and carved walnut serpentine canapé, and an early Victorian mahogany long case clock by John Stokes.