About David Roche

David J Roche AM (1930-2013), a collector for almost sixty years, spent his lifetime developing what has become the David Roche Collection. The collection, which spans the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and includes European furniture, ceramics, metal ware, clocks and paintings, is remarkable in its quality and range. It contains many luxury works by leading designers displaying exquisite workmanship, as well as the quirky and playful, and as such reflects the many interests and engaging personality of its creator.

The opportunity for David to form such a collection came from the business acumen and success of his father, J.D.K. (Jack) Roche (1901-58). J.D.K. Roche founded the Adelaide Development Company, a property development business in 1922. He then moved to Perth where David Roche was born in 1930. He was the fourth of six children, two boys and four girls. David Roche’s first schooling was in Perth, and later in Adelaide. He then attended Geelong Grammar School in Victoria for his secondary schooling. After school he was sent to work on the family property in WA but the isolation convinced him he was not suited to a farming life.

David went to work briefly in the family firm’s Perth office before returning to work in the Adelaide office. At this time the Adelaide Development Company was situated in Grenfell Street. Opposite was the auction firm Theodore Bruce & Co. David began to attend auction sales gaining experience in bidding in the late 1940s and into the 50s. This was the beginning of a long-self-education in art, particularly in the decorative arts and, above all, in furniture and ceramics. David continued to upgrade his collection until his death in 2013.

Image: David Roche in the Roman Room, Fermoy House, 2008.

Photo: David Mariuz for the BRW list.

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Current Exhibition

Gallery 1: Neoclassic: The Spirit of Antiquity | Gallery 2: Rococo: Graceful Exuberance | Gallery 3: David Roche: Kennels and collecting

The inaugural exhibitions of The David Roche Foundation House Museum showcase the fundamental areas of David’s collecting passion. A dog exhibitor almost all his life, and later a dog breeder and renowned international judge, David loved to acquire significant paintings, ceramics and quirky objects of his favourite dog breeds.

The Rococo and Neoclassic periods, spanning eighteenth-century Europe, were a rich and rewarding hunting ground for David. Sumptuous furniture, porcelain, clocks, metalware and textiles reflect his prerequisite for quality, notable makers and, if possible, a provenance to royalty, aristocracy or notable figures.  

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The Collection

The David Roche Foundation was established in 1999 by the late Mr David J Roche AM (1930-2013) to be the recipient and custodian of the exceptional collection of antiques, paintings and objets d’art accumulated by him over his lifetime and to be preserved for future generations.

The David Roche Foundation collection, housed in Adelaide, South Australia, is one of the greatest decorative arts collections in a private institution in Australia. It spans two centuries of European design from the early rococo of France to Faberge in Russia.

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Book A Tour

Join us at The David Roche Foundation House Museum for guided tours of Fermoy House, David’s residence and special exhibitions at the adjoining museum wing. Enjoy the sumptuous house interiors crammed with objects collected over a lifetime and admire individual works of art displayed in the museum. 

Access is by guided tours only.

Pre book a tour now to reserve your spot.
Tours of both House and Museum : Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday.
Special Tour Day: Wednesday. House 10:00am, Museum 12:00pm and Selected Objects 2:00pm

Closed Friday 23 December 2016 and reopening on Thursday 5 January 2017

10:00AM 12:00PM 2:00PM

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