NEXT LIVE AUCTION - Saturday 19th October 1pm

Our next live sale will be held online and at C11/372-428 Wattle Street, Ultimo on Saturday October 19th from 1pm. Viewing with drinks and nibbles will take place on Thursday 17th October 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.


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.

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.