Antique dealer’s Hamilton house lists for first time in 43 years

This property at 1 Eden Lane, Hamilton is going to auction on April 8.

Antiques dealer Jill Phillips had a way of keeping doors open.

At Blair Lodge on Hamilton Hill, an old iron holds the solid cedar kitchen door back, while outside an anchor secures a gate in the garden.

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The property used to have an entrance off Kingsford Smith Drive.

Her home of 43 years has always had its doors open for family and friends, including her brother, famed Australian author David Malouf.

David Malouf (Sydney) and Jill Phillips (Hamilton) at the launch of new store 'Buy Design' for Scene in edition 854.

Brither and sister David Malouf and Jill Phillips.

While the door to Brisbane’s past she has similarly tended, finding new homes for antique, often Australian-made, furniture.

The only carpeted room.

“Mum was in antiques for over 40 years,” her daughter Leah Phillips said. “She loved it. She was at her antique shop the day before she went into hospital for the last time.”

It was 1978 when Jill and Lance Phillips bought the Federation Queen Anne-style home on a 2049sq m estate overlooking the city at 1 Eden Lane, Hamilton.

1 Eden Lane, Hamilton.

“Mum lived around the corner in Arran Avenue as a child and always looked up and said: ‘I want to own that house one day’, and she talked my father into it,” Ms Phillips said.

Leah Phillips had just started university when she and her two brothers moved in and remembers the home fondly.

One of the upstairs bedrooms.

“We moved in when we were teenagers which was the perfect age,” she said.

“It hadn’t been lived in for 10 years when we came here so it was really derelict with lino on the floor upstairs so Mum and Dad had to put in a bathroom, so here you have a kitschy 80s bathroom,” she said of the round bath sitting on a raised platform in the upstairs bathroom, one of three in the six-bedroom house.

A very 80s upstairs bathroom.

Dark carpets downstairs were replaced with carrara marble in the hallway and ballroom, giving the downstairs area a more contemporary feel.

The marble flooring lightens the rooms.

A new kitchen was added 15 years ago and when work began on upgrades to Kingsford Smith Drive, the developer double-glazed windows to eliminate street noise and installed airconditioning.

One of the many bedrooms.

“Mum was always going to sell but she wanted the road work to finish first.”

Mrs Phillips passed away five months before the delayed $615m upgrade was completed.

“My kids have grown up loving antiques and also worked with mum in the business, and they have learned her business skills and her work ethic, she’s never late, always works overtime, and listens to the public.”

Jill Phillips and her daughter Leah Phillips.

For 26 years Mrs Phillips had lived alone, following the sudden death of her husband from a pulmonary embolism after knee replacement surgery.

“She was so independent and then she had a knee problem of her own and because Dad died post knee replacement, she didn’t want to know about it. So she had to live with it.

“But she was always very positive, even until the last week. Nothing would get her down, the total opposite to me. And even though she found business difficult (in more recent years) she would try to find some way to enjoy it.”

The last time the family gathered together on the wraparound veranda at Blair Lodge overlooking the city, was the Christmas before COVID began.

The front veranda is a place for family gatherings.

The family have made the hard decision to put the family home on the market and Courtney Caulfield and Simon Caulfield of Place – Kangaroo Point will take the property to auction on April 8.

This was one of Jill Phillips’ favourite spots.

“Everything Mum did was for the house and that’s why it’s in such good condition. But whoever comes to the house, I hope they love it and make some wonderful memories like we have. But it’s going to be very sad.”

Jill Phillips, sister of author David Malouf, at her antique shop with a copy of David's book. 1996 books headshot

Jill Phillips, sister of author David Malouf, at her antique shop in 1996 with a copy of David’s book.

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