NEXT AUCTION - Saturday 24th August 1pm

Our next sale will be held online and at C11/372-428 Wattle Street, Ultimo on Saturday August 24th from 1pm. Viewing with drinks and nibbles will take place on Thursday 22nd August from 5pm. Viewing is also available via appointment during the week prior. This sale will feature an incredible collection of material including scarce Australiana, rare maps and lovely ephemera.


June 29th Sale Highlights

The catalogue for our recent auction featured numerous fantastic items, many being very scarce and collectible. The Norman Lindsay material proved highly popular, achieving strong results across the board. The three unprinted manuscripts each sold individually for $12,600 (IBP). Other Lindsay highlights included the sale of the original pen and ink drawings done by Lindsay for the book Dust or Polish. All nine of them sold for prices ranging from $2,000 to $3,000 (IBP). ‘Mother Goose Rhymes Censored’ with the Lindsay watercolour on the cover reached $3,720 (IBP) and the three works by Seaforth Mackenzie Inscribed to Norman Lindsay achieved $4,320 (IBP).

Once again, maps proved to be very popular. The 1728 map of the Ottoman Empire sold for $1,320 (IBP), the Mitchell Map of NSW reached $8,400 (IBP) and the 1900 Map of Sydney achieved $960 (IBP). Exploration titles also sold well, with a highlight being the ‘1744 Harris Voyages’ going under the hammer for $9,600 (IBP). Other featured results from the sale included the Kelly Gang CDV achieving $12,000 (IBP), the painting of Kate Kelly going for $3,600 (IBP), the ‘Holtermann’s Life Preserving Drops’ poster reaching $1,800 (IBP), a rare copy of artists book WIPE selling for $780 (IBP) and a copy of ‘The Cricket Match Schottische’ 1857 sheet music achieving $900 (IBP).

The clearance rate for the books, maps and prints was over 85%, many of them selling towards the upper end of their estimates or well beyond. The carte de visites that featured heavily early in the sale did not sell as well as we had hoped, however post sale offers has seen this result improve markedly. Once again, a key indication of this auction is that quality material of a rare and collectible nature continues to be highly sought after. Maps, exploration and scarce Australiana are strong categories, however condition of the items is paramount.

Our next sale is scheduled for early August.

Kelly Gang Photograph

Our June 29th sale includes several remarkable examples of Australiana, including the only photograph of the Kelly Gang produced in Ned Kelly’s lifetime (lot 50), the life-masks of Don Bradman (1930), and J. J. Bradfield (1932); a previously unknown portrait of Marcus Clarke (1870); The Bradshaw Collection, being several hundred cdv’s of pioneer families of Hobart and Launceston, rare portraits of AFL stars of the 70’s by John Rogers including Matthews and Jesaulenko, a Henry King photographic workbook with unique aboriginal content and loads of other fascinating historic photographs.

Here are the details of the Kelly Gang photograph:

Lot 50 – The Kelly Gang. A Carte de Visite (CDV or Photograph) by Burrows , Melbourne Portrait Rooms, Brisbane Street, Launceston, as offered one week after the Glenrowan Siege, and published in the Launceston Examiner July 9 1880. Also published in the Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston) of July 13 1880. This copy is one of only three known, all in private hands. Written in contemporary ink, Dan Kelly, Ned Kelly, Joe Byrne to front, and to reverse on Burrows’ green label, Hannah Littlechild/Joe Byrne/Ned Kelly/Dan Kelly/July 12 1880. William Henry Carl Burrows came to Australia in 1858, aged 6 with his father photographer John William Burrows. Burrows and his brother Arthur were travelling photographers in the period 1878-9, around Victoria and Tasmania. This photograph was probably taken by Alfred Burrows (then running his Melbourne Portrait Rooms in Bendigo) at Euroa on December 10 1878, when the Kelly Gang had acquired new clothes from James Gloster the previous day. Ned Kelly was described by Ward of the Benalla Police Station as 27 years, about six feet high, built in proportion. Dark hair, dark brown whiskers, and beard and moustache worn long. He took a blue sac coat, brown tweed trousers and vest, elastic side boots, brown felt hat, grey striped Crimean shirt and a lavender tie. Dan Kelly was recorded as 18 years, five feet 61/2 inches, dark brown hair, blue eyes, sallow complexion, scar on left cheek. Wore black paget coat, dark grey tweed trousers and vest, Rob Roy shirt and a black tie, elastic sided boots, a light felt hat. As the Kelly Gang were declared outlaws under the Felons Apprehension Act of October 1878, photographers of the Kellys – like Burman, Bray, and Burrows, did not make their wares available as the Act penalized those who “gave aid, shelter or sustenance” to gang members. The position for photographers changed after Glenrowan, June 27 1880 when photographs of the events were recorded and in great public demand. A similar CDV, but in lesser condition, was sold by Lawsons in 1988 and again in 2016 with the provenance of the Mayor of Launceston 1879. No institution holds this carte, the only known image of the Kelly Gang published in Ned Kelly’s lifetime.

May 25th Sale Report

The May 25th sale included our usual varied collection of material, ranging from early maps and protest posters, to antiquarian books and modern firsts. The sale room was full, as well as a huge number of online bidders actively clicking the ‘Bid Now’ button on Invaluable. It made for a fast auction, with over 700 lots going under the hammer in around 4 hours.

Highlights from the sale included ‘A Mother’s Offering to her Children’ first edition, which sold for $15,000, ‘My Brilliant Career’ first edition ($2,500), ‘1790 Surgeon General White First Fleet Journal’ ($3,000) and a set of ‘Art in Australia’ ($2,500). There were also some rather interesting items that sold well, such as a Peace Loan poster that reached $525, a pamphlet titled ‘Bookplates Becoming Popular’ by P Neville Barnett ($350) and a small collection of late 1800’s photos of Flinders Island ($550).

The sale achieved a clearance rate of approximately 85%, with many unsold lots being traded in the hours that followed. The buyers were predominantly from Australia, however about 20% of sales went to international bidders from across the globe, including the US, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, China and England. The above observations indicates that the market for rare and antique books, maps and ephemera is quite strong.

Our next sale is scheduled for late June, and our intention is to increase the numbers of auctions we hold in the year ahead.