Mys­tery buyer snaps up baroness’s house

‘Petty cash’ for over­seas bid­der, says auc­tion­eer

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PEOPLE - ME­LANIE PETERS

A BRI­TISH busi­ness­man bought the Con­stan­tia home and the ad­ja­cent stand be­long­ing to the in­fa­mous Baroness Alexan­der von Maltzahn for R17 mil­lion and other bid­ders spent about R1m on ev­ery­thing from jew­els to Gucci bags, at an auc­tion yes­ter­day.

The man, who did not want to be named, made his fi­nal bid by proxy over a cell­phone at the prop­erty known as Con­stan­tia Heights.

Von Maltzahn and her hus­band, Vic­tor, who were de­scribed by some as be­ing “fright­fully grand”, amassed mas­sive debt be­fore hastily leav­ing the coun­try last year. Their Range Rover was found at the air­port.

Auc­tion Al­liance auc­tion­eer Rael Le­vitt said they had been hop­ing to get R20m. “The sale was a re­flec­tion of the cur­rent mar­ket; R17m is petty cash for an over­seas buyer.”

The man­sion, with breath­tak­ing views, has three bed­rooms with en-suite bath­rooms, spa­cious mod­ern liv­ing ar­eas, a li­brary, wine cel­lar, cold rooms, a walk-in cup­board with 22 built-in cup­boards, an in­door swim­ming pool, en­ter­tain­ment area, sauna and gym, a lift and do­mes­tic quar­ters.

About 400 busi­ness­men, prospec­tive buy­ers, an­tique dealers and cu­rios­ity seek­ers milled across the ex­ten­sive 9 394m 2 prop­erty billed as “fit for royalty… un­ri­valled lux­ury and op­u­lence”.

View­ing the prop­erty yes­ter­day, peo­ple gos­siped about the baroness. “She must have had money. How else could she ac­quire all of this?” said one. While an­other re­marked that her taste was “quite kitsch”.

But only a few se­ri­ous bid­ders made of­fers dur­ing the auc­tion held in a mar­quee.

A se­ques­tra­tion or­der was set aside by the West­ern Cape High Court in Novem­ber.

Stan­dard Bank had the power of at­tor­ney to sell the prop­erty as the bank is owed R45m, ac­cord­ing to the auc­tion­eers.

Af­ter the main prop­erty went un­der the ham­mer, all the be­long­ings left be­hind by the baroness were auc­tioned off in­di­vid­u­ally for a to­tal of about R960 000. Th­ese in­cluded Prada and Gucci bags, Tif­fany jew­ellery, fur­ni­ture, an­tiques, book col­lec­tions, a cer­e­mo­nial sword and gym equip­ment.

An an­tique Bi­ble and a col­lec­tion of books in­clud­ing vol­umes of Shake­speare went for R21 000, a set of Scott’s nov­els for R20 000, a needle­work car­pet for R10 000, a num­ber of Tintin framed posters went for be­tween R1 500 and R1 750 and the blue four-poster re­gency style dou­ble bed for R4 500.

The cou­ple were known for throw­ing lav­ish par­ties and rub­bing shoul­ders with high­fly­ers. They also al­legedly car­ried out dodgy deals in the city.

SO­CIALITES: Baroness Alexan­der von Maltzahn and her hus­band, Vic­tor.

PIC­TURE: MATTHEW JOR­DAAN

AN­TIQUES: Prospec­tive bid­ders view the house and be­long­ings of Baroness Alexan­der von Maltzahn who left Cape Town un­der a cloud of debt.

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