NEXT AUCTION - Ends 6pm Sunday April 19th

Our next sale will be held online, ending April 19th at 6pm. This sale will feature an incredible collection of parliamentary papers, spanning the last 175 years. Subjects include military, rail, aboriginal, medical, politics, Sydney Harbour and more.

News

Sales Results 2020

2020  is a year for society to refine online living. We have had 3 sales this year with one being our normal auction with lots of activity in the room, another with 8 people in the room all social distancing and a third auction which has been online only. All three auctions were successful.

The February auction was full of interesting books and ephemera but not many were high priced. The highest selling price was $8600 for a repaired copy of a first edition of Ulysses. Other notable items sold included a set of Bean’s Official History of Australia in WW1 all in the original boxes $1080, a 1681 book on childbirth $1090, a rare fore edge painting $720,  a 1779 map of the South Pacific $1440. a 1697 book bound in pigskin – a large folio $720 as well as numerous rare ephemeral items. In this sale we sold $78,570 worth of books to 120 customers.

The March auction sale contained a number of books from the estate of Jeremy Long and included many books on the Aboriginal people as well as books on White man’s exploration of Australia. These books all sold with many bringing high prices. There were good copies of Giles, Warburton, Carnegie as well as Baldwin Spencer titles. Among other highlights were a 1790 very good coloured copy of Surgeon General John White’s Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales which sold for $14,400. For the same price was an 1831 copy of the first 19 issues of the Sydney Herald – the forerunner of the Sydney Morning Herald. Another Sydney item was a collection of photographs of the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  This sold for $15,900. Another collection of photographs of NSW from the first half of the twentieth century sold for $2760. A book with 2 letters  between Elioth Gruner and Norman Lindsay sold for $1920. Another letter from Banjo Patterson with a reference for a relative sold for $3360. As usual the ephemera and Parliamentary Papers sold very well. In this sale we sold $124,827 worth of books to 133 customers

The April sale was a small collection of Parliamentary Papers from the estate of Alan Ives. Alan has left many of these papers and we will be selling them for some years to come. The sale results were $29,560 with 67 customers.

We have many further sales planned with more items from the estates of Alan Ives and Doug McKenzie. The amazing collection of books, mostly juvenile, from Dorothy Randall will be sold gradually over the next year or so. Dorothy is 80 years old and started collecting these as a 12 year old.

The first Australian to win a gold medal at swimming in the Olympics was Fred Lane who won the 200 meters in the 1900 Paris Olympics. We are selling some of his estate which does include some wonderful sporting ephemera. Sadly his house was burnt down and his 2 Olympic  gold medals and most of his souvenirs were destroyed. Fred later was a printer and printed many bookplates for the literati of Sydney. Fred was a personal friend of Norman Lindsay and this collection contains a few things signed by Lindsay.

We have many more items and despite Covid 19 changing our lives and creating death and suffering we will have our auctions as normal. If you wish to consign items please let us know by sending an email tosydneyrarebookauctions@hotmail.com or phoning Paul on 0452 228 982

October Sale Results

Our October 19th sale featured over 700 lots, with our usual mix of eclectic material ranging from maps and ephemera, to Australiana and juvenile titles. The auction room was a hive of activity, with a record number of online bidders also actively taking part.

The clearance rate was slightly down from our previous sale, with approximately 80% of lots being sold on the day and a further 10% trading in the week that followed. The key areas of interest were exploration, maps, Australian ephemera and rare first editions. Antiquarian books sold strongly, however ‘Books on books’ proved to be less desirable than past auctions.

Select highlights included a near complete set of Oz magazines achieving $2,600 (IBP), a Norman Lindsay pen drawing selling for $2,600 (IBP), a copy of Across Australia reaching $900 (IBP), a first edition Man From Snowy River went under the hammer for $3,600 (IBP) and a Henry Lawson First Edition going for $3,000 (IBP).

The popularity of rare and collectible printed material is on the rise, but as has always been the case, condition is extremely important. A poor copy of a particular rare book will often pass in at less than half the value achieved of the same title in good condition. This is particularly the case with Australian exploration. Also of note is the broadening of our market reach. In this auction we had approximately 20% of items heading overseas to countries ranging from the US and China, to England, Israel, Japan and France. Domestically, Sydney proved the strongest market, closely followed by Melbourne and regional NSW.

 

August Auction Highlights

Our August 24th sale featured our usual eclectic mix of material, ranging from highly collectible autographs and rare Australiana, to maps and ephemera. We had a full auction room and a lot of online activity, making for a lively and fast moving sale.

Early highlights included a signed first edition of Tarzan achieving $5,000 (ICB), a Sydney Harbour Bridge Contract selling for $7,450 (IBP), a copy of ‘I Me Mine’ by George Harrison reaching $2,050 (IPB) and a Sir Isaac Newton autograph going for $5,520 (IBP). The more contemporary maps were our weakest category overall in terms of percentage of sold lots, however there were strong results for the more collectible ones, including an 1888 Jamaica map achieving $600 (IBP), a 1635 Blaeu Map of India selling for $1,560 (IBP) and an 1872 map of Sydney Harbour going for $400 (IBP).

Once again ephemera proved to be one of the strongest areas. We had a varied range of material, from daybills and tourist brochures to art catalogues and souvenir items. It’s always difficult to value some of these things, as they can be quite obscure, with minimal information regarding previous sales or how many were printed. As a result we are occasionally surprised by some of the prices achieved. Highlights included an album of Tasmanian views selling for $570 (IBP), a lovely Sydney Souvenir album going for $840 (IBP) and an Albert Namatjira Art Catalogue reaching $450 (IBP).

The clearance rate on the day was approximately 85%, with many of the unsold items being sold in the days following. We attracted a record number of online buyers, with many of them coming from outside of Australia. It’s an indication of the increased reach of our auctions and confidence in international buyers to shop online for material that traditionally people preferred to see and handle prior to making a purchase. Our next live sale will once again feature a mix of items and is scheduled for October 19th. We also intend on having an online only sale of maps, posters and prints in the interim.