By MICK ROBERTS ©
THE rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney is legendary – a competitiveness between Australia’s two largest cities that can be found from the sporting fields to the bar rooms of pubs.
During the 1950s Melbourne’s Young and Jackson Hotel had become famous for the nude, ‘Chloe’ – a 260 by 139cm oil canvas painting of a young Parisian girl – hanging in its bar.
Sydney pubs, however, had nothing to compete with the beauty or fame of Chloe.
That was challenged in 1954 when Sydney publican, Claude Edwards unveiled “Chloe the Second” in the Sussex Hotel.
But in all seriousness, there was no real threat of the Victorian capital city’s much-loved Chloe losing her title.
Melbourne’s Chloe had been produced by French figure painter Jules Joseph Lefebvre in 1875, while Sydney’s ‘Chloe the Second’ was the creation of “spare-time artist” Edward Bourke.
Bourke, 58, presented his painting to publican Edwards, who unveiled ‘Chloe the Second’ to the public in a corner of his public bar on Monday September 6 1954.
While the original Chloe, a bosomy nude, has graced the walls of Young and Jackson Hotel in Melbourne since 1909, and remains a treasured attraction. However, the fate of Sydney’s ‘copy’ remains a mystery.
The Sussex Hotel closed for business in the 1980s, and was later demolished. Where ‘Chloe the Second’ ended up is anyone’s guess.
High rise apartments now replace the pub on the north-west corner of Sussex and Liverpool Streets, Sydney, where ‘Chloe the Second’ made her unsuccessful attempt to take the crown from her Melbourne counterpart .
For more on the history of Young & Jackson Hotel, Melbourne and ‘Chloe’ visit the Time Gents’ story: Just who were Young and Jackson, and the story of their famous nude, Chloe
© Copyright Mick Roberts 2018
First published 2018. Updated 2022
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