I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published June 13th 2017
World-Class Artworks On Show
Mount Macedon, once a 19th Century hide-away for Melbourne's rich and famous, has long been well known for its laid-back country lifestyle, olde-world mansions and stunning gardens, some of the best in Australia. But the Mount also has some well kept secrets and one of those is the magnificent Stokes Collection.
The collection is the life's work of passionate collector and art connoisseur Cyril Stokes who purchased his first artwork, a small painting, in 1954 and not long afterwards his first piece of antique porcelain.
The Stokes Collection is housed at Forest Glade, the private home of passionate collector Cyril Stokes.
Those humble beginnings led to him filling his Mount Macedon property with not only a world-class collection of antique furniture and art works but also the largest private collection of antique porcelain in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the largest collections of its type in the world – more than 6,500 individual pieces.
Throughout its sixteen rooms the Stokes Collection is a breathtakingly spectacular display of predominantly 18th and 19th Century porcelain, French furniture, including many fine Boulle pieces, large tapestries, paintings, marble & bronze statues and a magnificent collection of Oriental art.
The Stokes Collection includes the largest private collection of antique porcelain in the Southern Hemisphere, including an entire room of Royal Worcester.
There's an entire room dedicated to beautiful Royal Worcester porcelain, outstanding examples of Meissen and Sevres pieces, magnificent chandeliers and a collection of stained-glass windows some of which date back to medieval times.
In order to ensure that this amazing museum remains open to the public for generations to come Cyril Stokes has very generously set up a private trust which now administers the museum and gardens.
Lasting around two and a half hours a tour of the Stokes Collection reveals room after room full of antique furniture, tapestries, paintings, marble & bronze statues and of course more than 6,500 porcelain pieces.
The good news is that the Stokes Collection is open 5-days a week, all year 'round for inspection by adults in groups of 8 or more. The tour takes about 2 ½ - hours to view the entire collection with guides providing a light-hearted and informative presentation rather than a highly technical and 'arty' approach.
Great for clubs and social groups the cost is $30 per person and covers the guided tour of the museum and a self-guided tour of the Forest Glade Gardens. Bookings are essential and can be made by calling Jan on (03) 5426 1323.
If you can't make up a group of 8 or more it's sometimes possible to tag individuals or couples onto existing smaller groups so it is worth calling to see what's available.
One of the youngest pieces in the collection this magnificent 20th Century table was made specifically to display the 18th Century Sevres porcelain portraits of Louis XVI and the ladies of his court.
If you're interested in seeing one of Australia's greatest private museums, the equal of many of the world's great collections, get together with a group of friends or associates and plan a trip to Mount Macedon, The Stokes Collection and Forest Glade Gardens.
As luck would have it Forest Glade is conveniently located close to the iconic Mount Macedon Hotel and several local eateries all of which provide excellent lunch options. Why not make a day of it by taking the museum tour in the morning followed by lunch and an afternoon tour of the gardens?
Believe me you will not be disappointed with a visit to Mount Macedon's Stokes Collection Museum.
Why? See the largest private collection of antique porcelain in the Southern Hemisphere along with examples of 18th & 19th Century furniture, paintings, tapestries, glassware and marble & bronze statues