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Treasures go under the hammer at historic Foxlow homestead near Canberra

An impressive collection of Australian paintings and antique furniture from Foxlow homestead outside Canberra sold for about half a million dollars on Sunday.

The marathon auction of nearly 600 items dismantled an enviable collection of fine art, furniture and jewellery, and signalled the end of an era for the historic farming property near Bungendore.

Foxlow sold in May for $15 million and its former owner, Brett Falkiner, decided he would also sell the entire contents of the house.

The property has passed through the hands of three generations of Falkiners since the 1920s.

More than 300 people attended the sale of landscape paintings, portraits, art deco jewellery, exotic Chinese antiques, high-quality mahogany furniture from Ireland and Persian rugs.

Tensions were high and the pace was fast as Lawsons auctioneers Simon Hill and Shauna Farren-Price raced through about 80 lots an hour.

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"It was a fantastic collection of really quality things, and quality always finds a home," Ms Farren-Price said.

A framed 1854 "Wanted" poster from the Eureka Stockade, which was expected to sell for about $1000, went for $4500. A pair of Navy Colt guns from the 1800s each sold for more than $3500.

A large brass bell inscribed with "Foxlow", which still hung on the front porch on Sunday, was the first item to go to auction. It sold for $950.

Ms Farren-Price said the home's art collection, which included artworks by Albert Namatjira, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and John Olsen, was a stand-out.

"There was a particular flavour to the art collection and it very much suited the house." 

An Albert Namatjira watercolour, which depicted the MacDonnell Ranges and featured in the home's entry, sold for $15,000, while a serene village scene from Rupert Bunny was snapped up for $4750. 

Two works by early 20th-century horse painter Martin Stainforth also sold for much for than expected at $5000 and $8000. 

After seven hours, the last item went under the hammer about 6pm.

Ms Farren-Price said the clearance rate was roughly 98 per cent and the total sale amount far exceeded the company's original expectation of about $300,000.

More than 300 people browsed the collection during a public viewing on Saturday and there was also interest from bidders in the United States, China and Russia.

Ms Farren-Price expected many of the home's oriental antiques were purchased by Chinese bidders.