Butch’s model a hit               on top auction site

September 21st, 2020Butch’s model a hit on top auction site

A MODEL replica of the Glenlyon Shire Hall made by Hepburn’s Butch Tori has sold on prestigious auction site Leonard Joel for $600. The asking price was $200-$300.

Butch sells his models from around $100 but said the price was “a feather in my cap – not financially though” and wished the seller good luck.
The piece was bought from him about 18 months ago and while he was pretty sure he knew the identity of the buyer, he preferred not to say.
Butch said he became aware of the sale after someone saw the August 13 Leonard Joel Facebook post and thought it was one of his models.
“Good luck to him, he did well, and he did pay me what I asked for it, although I thought he wanted it for himself at the time. When I saw it was sold, I thought maybe someone wealthy had bought it for the Glenlyon Progress. But a lady also posted that they would have liked it for Glenlyon but they couldn’t afford that price. I tried to get in touch, because I have another one here, but they never called back. But she could have had the one I have for a hell of a lot cheaper than $600.”
While Butch’s popular front yard store, just up and over from the Hepburn General Store, is closed for a while, he is still making models although his popular bush walking stick days may be over with a second hip operation looming once elective surgery is up and running again.
“My legs are buggered so I can’t get any sticks at the moment, which is a real shame, because I enjoyed going out and getting them.”
Butch said all up he has made more than 200 models, using both timber and stone, some made to requests from proud home and building owners. There are about 30 tucked away at Cricket Willow in Shepherds Flat and about 18 at the Daylesford & District Museum. The very first came about as he stood in his driveway and looked over at the Macaroni Factory.
“I thought, I am going to make a bloody model of that old joint there. And that was the start. It all started with the Macaroni Factory.”
Butch said the time spent, and cost of the models, varied according to size, weather conditions and his own motivation. Some smaller ones could be completed in a day – if it wasn’t “stinking freezing and the glue won’t go off” while others with lots of detail, could take up to four days.
Making things is a long away from Butch’s career which saw him working with explosives in Deer Park. Rather than timber and stone and glue, his trade was all about mine detonators and, in those days, dynamite. He says there were a couple of frightening moments but “let’s just say no damage anyway”.
And while Butch and his wife Fay wait out COVID to get back to a more normal life they will celebrate his 78th birthday on Sunday, September 20. Happy Birthday!

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