NEXT AUCTION - 12 Noon Saturday 13th February 2021

More Idriess, Australiana, manuscripts, historic documents, maps, photography and art.



More Idriess, Australiana, manuscripts, historic documents, maps, photography and art

Our first auction of the year, has more from the estate of Idriess including his reflections on his experiences of war; items concerning Australian colonial history and gold mining, women’s enfranchisement and the domestic sphere, children’s books, art and notable bookplates. 

Lot 248: The Snipper proof drawing

From the Ion Idriess estate: Idriess is best known for his story telling, bringing to life his Australian bush adventures. However, the international collector would be aware of his military manuals, The Australian Guerrilla Series. We have a number of these first editions for sale, but more notably manuscripts of his experiences in World War One. Idriess was a Light Horseman and fought in Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine and was a proud member of the Fifth Light Horse Regiment A.I.F.  Association. We have correspondence between Idriess and the President of the Fifth Light Horse Regiment A.I.F.  Association (Lot 22); his Australian issue bayonet (Lot 71); the transcripts of a radio interview that Idriess gave regarding his experiences of war, entitled “The Spirit of Comradeship” 1936 (Lot77); and, a draft letter about his War Wounds (Lot91). Idriess was twice wounded on Gallipoli and again in Palestine, and contracted malaria in Jordan whilst on active service. 

Interesting Australian Colonial items: Firstly, illustrating Australia’s dark past, we have manuscripts pertaining to the slave ship Isabella Anna. (Lot 545) Captain Bradley piloted the ship and tried (but thankfully failed) to enslave Pacific Islanders to work on the Queensland cotton fields. One of the manuscripts is a copy of the mortgage indenture of the ship and a letter of attorney issued by Stephen Shephard Esquire to Benjamin Boyd in 1842. Benjamin Boyd (1801-1851) was grazier, banker and, more notably, a slaver.  

We also have the archive of Colonial gold mining family – the Hammonds. (Lot 373) Patriarch John Hammond arrived in Australian in 1841 as a free immigrant aboard the Moffat, listed as a shepherd who could both read and write. His eldest son Mark John Hammond, listed in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, was a veritable Australian Colonial Renaissance man – with successes (and notable failures) as a gold-miner, gold-mine owner, land-prospector, jockey, and Member of the Lower House in 1884. In between he was poisoned by a scorpion, vice-president of the Ashfield Bowling Club, and supported Edmund Barton in the Australian Democratic Reform League. Mark John Hammond passed away whilst surfing in Manly, and it is hard to imagine a more Australian exit from the mortal coil. A fascinating family, and an impressive archive with something for everyone. 

Lot 373 Colonial gold mining family – the Hammonds

Women’s interest items: Including some great cookbooks including some Australian content from the Country Women’s Associations, attractive sewing and needlework items (Lot 601), a few lots featuring woman artists (Lots 103) and, excitingly from outside the domestic sphere, three documents of Women Landholders from the 1800s (Lot 366) which include records of women passing and receiving titles to lands in England. 

Children’s books: We have some beauties including: 1890s Lithographic Children’s board books (Lot 199); Jack of all Trades by JJ Bell with colour illustrations by Chas Robison (Lot 467); A first edition Black Beauty with eighteen plates by Cecil Aldin text by Anna Sewell (Lot 466); a collection of children’s miniature books (Lot 485); Some Biggles by Captain WE Johns (Lot 480); Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum (Lot 609), as well as some Charles Dickens, and the beloved stories of A.A. Milne, 

For the art lover: We have original artworks from Brazilian Artist Mateus Veloso (Lot 398) and Italian artist Gigino Falconi (Lot 196); Loads of Australian art including Australian Art Gallery catalogues (Lot 139); Margaret Olley (Lot 130); Albert Tucker (Lot 134) and Australian Colonial Art (Lot 109).  

We also have a number of books with noteworthy bookplates. Including a by George Perrottet Bookplate for Sir William Goodman (Lot 147); Australian boutique winemaker Max Lake’s (1924-2009) bookplate pasted in collectible wine book Bertall’s French Wine (Lot 396); Book collector James Ambrose Story (1844-1910) (Lot 522); Naturalist, anthropologist and Tarsoid theorist, Frederic Wood Jones (1879-1954) bookplate (Lot 529). 

December 12th 2020 Sale

Important Australian firsts, the Idriess Estate & other intriguing items

For the December 12th auction we have diverse selection of material from some impressive Australian collectors. We have two remarkable firsts: the first children’s book published in Australia and the first book written by an Australian Aboriginal author, as well as many signed and associated books, hand written letters, land grants and illustrations. 

The first children’s book published in Australia is A Mother’s Offering to her Children by a Lady (1841). Marcie Muir has attributed authorship to Charlotte Barton (1797-1867), described by the Australian Dictionary of Biography as a governess, feminist and author.  Barton published A Mother’s Offering to Her Children in 1841 to raise money and for a legal battle to keep her children. This title is very scarce. We know of only three copies sold in the last 30 years.  

David Unaipon

The first book written by an Australian Aboriginal author is Myths and Legends of the Australian Aboriginals. It was recently revealed from the early manuscripts that Ramsay Smith, the sattributed author of this book and a respected anthropologist, stole the material for this book from David Unaipon (1872-1976), a South Australian Aboriginal man of the Ngarrindjeri people, making this one of the first books to be written by an Australian Aboriginal author. This copy is signed by David Unaipon. Unaipon was the son of a preacher, an Indigenous culture recorder, inventor, poet and is now on the Australian $50 note.  

Ion Idriess

Ion Llewellyn Idriess (1889-1979) is one of (?) [or delete ‘s’ in authors] Australia’s most read and collected authors. He grew up in Broken Hill, later served in the 5th Australian Light horse in WWI, and travelled extensively around Australia, including remote Indigenous areas. He drew from these experiences and wrote some truly enthralling articles and books. 

For the Idriess collector we have some truly mouth-watering items. Several letters including correspondence with the US publisher concerning Horrie the Wog Dog (that little war hero!); a letter from Angus and Robertson’s managing director, Walter Cousins; and a letter author and bushman Bill Harney(1895-1962). There is also an original pencil drawn map in Idriess’s  hand that may have been used to plan his novel Wild White Man of Badu. Scarce items included the prospectus for the National Edition of his books, and a collection of stories from the Australian World Service Syndicate declaring Idriess as “Australia’s Most Popular Writer.” From his personal library there are books with his notes and some inscribed to Idriess from authors such as EV Timms, Frank Clune, and Eris O’Brien.  

We will also be selling good Australian histories from the estate of Robert Ian Jack (1935–2019), a passionate historian who was, amongst many other accolades, the longest serving president of the Australian Historical Society, a member of the NSW Heritage Council, president of the Hawkesbury Historical society, president for the Blue Mountains Association of Cultural Heritage, a and Associate Professor at the University of Sydney.  

One of many cool ephemeral items on Australian history.

October 17th Sale

Our October 17th sale features our usual eclectic mix of material, ranging from history, mythology, Australiana, children’s books and art.  

We will be selling the estate of the late Leigh Rayment. As a child Rayment dreamt of owning library and his passion for collecting lasted for well over forty years.  His library echoes his interests in life; as a child he had a fascination in myths folklore and fairy tales and later in life he focused on British political history. It is a handsome collection with many fine bindings. 

Also, in the sale are a large quantity of children’s books. There are some amusing and fabulous pop-up books and also some old favourites from Maurice Sendak, Arthur Rackham, and Enid Blyton. If you are a child from the eighties, you may remember the Dark Crystal movie. We have a scarce album produced to market the movie. It features the work of Brian Froud who was the conceptual designer and Jim Henson who was the producer and director of the movie. Brian Froud(b.1947) is an English fantasy illustrator dark whimsical style and is known for works in fairy tales and folklore. Henson (1936-1990) was a puppeteer and the creator of The Muppets, Fraggle Rock and Sesame Street.  

In our collection of art and painting there are landscapes, marine and Aboriginal works from artists such as John Allcot and Billy Stockman. Perhaps the most curious item we have for sale is a little scrapbook album with several miniatures which appear to be original ink illustrations signed “WM Craig” This could be William Marshall Craig(c1765-c1834) who was a painter and miniaturist. He has exhibited at the Royal Academy and his work is held at the Victoria and Albert and the British Museum and he was notably appointed water colourist to Queen Charlotte and miniature painter to the Duke and Duchess of York.  


Coming soon! 

Australiana ceramics – an online only sale featuring pottery from Diana, Vande, Coronet, Sylvac, Marutomo, hand painted ceramics by Martin Boyd and work by Australian potter Grace Seccombe. 

Crime fiction – More books from the collection of Leigh Rayment. Another online only sale with first editions by authors including John Rhode, Miles Burton, Herbert Adams, JM Walsh, John Ferguson, and Wyndham Martyn.