In 1922 Melba gave a concert at His Majesty’s Theatre in Geelong to raise funds for the Kitchener Memorial Hospital. As a gesture of appreciation, Melba was presented with a gold paperweight depicting Australian flora and fauna, manufactured by Hammerton and Sons. The paperweight is estimated at $40,000-50,000. In 1920 Melba gave a concert to the world by wireless telephone from the Marconi Company’s station at Chelsford, United Kingdom. Photographic records led Sotheby’s Australia to discover an 18ct gold and platinum mesh evening bag by Cartier held by Melba during the broadcast, which is now part of the March 2015 sale (estimate $12,000-15,000).
As an avid collector of works by Hans Heysen, Melba officially opened his exhibition in Melbourne in 1915, during which 11 works from her personal collection were lent and she acquired a further three oil paintings including Zinnias 1914. Purchased for 80 gns the painting is estimated at $18,000- 22,000. During her extensive travels, Melba amassed a wonderful collection of fine art, luxurious furnishings, silverware and many objects of virtu. A small selection of that collection, that until now has been housed in Melba’s private home and bank vault, is being offered for sale.