NEXT AUCTION - Saturday 2nd February 12pm

Sydney Rare Book Auctions is pleased to announce that the next sale will take place in our rooms at C11/372-428 Wattle Street, Ultimo on Saturday February 2nd from 12pm. Viewing with drinks and nibbles will take place on Thursday 31st January from 5pm. Viewing is also available during the week prior upon appointment. This sale will features a varied collection of material including items from the estate of Doug McKenzie, which features lots of magnificent ephemera and books. There is also a selection of books from the vast military collection of the late Major General Gordon Lindsay Maitland. We also have a large amount of Australiana, religious texts and atlases. There will also be plenty of antiquarian books, parliamentary papers, maps, prints and loads more!


Major General Gordon Lindsay Maitland AO, OBE, RFD,ED. (1926-2018)

At our Auction on the 2 February there is a large selection of books from the vast military collection of the late Major General Gordon Lindsay Maitland AO, OBE, RFD,ED. (1926-2018)

Major General Maitland was the last senior officer who had seen service in the Second World War. Maitland enlisted in the 2nd AIF on his 18th birthday and after completion of his recruit training was transferred to the Intelligence Unit and trained in the Japanese language. Following service in Timor Force where he was charged with locating and questioning possible war criminals he was appointed as a Lead Interpreter at the War Crimes Trials in Darwin.

Maitland returned to civilian life and his career in the Commonwealth Bank where he rose to become Chief Manager. He then went on to serve as CEO of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW. His success in his civilian career was matched with an equally successful career in the Army Reserve where his highest achievement was to be appointed Chief of the Army Reserve. Maitland was the only soldier to have enlisted as a private in the 2nd AIF and rise to the rank of Major General.

Maitland was very proud of his Scottish heritage and was appointed Chief of Clan Maitland in Australia.

In retirement, Maitland became a respected and renowned author and documenter of military history, researching and writing, resulting in the publication the following books:

  • “The Second World War and its Australian Army Battle Honours”
  • “The Battle History of the Royal NSW Regiment” in two volumes
  • “Tales of Valour”
  • “Honours and Awards”
  • “The Story of Australia’s Flags”

Major General Maitland was a strong supporter of the veteran community, being heavily involved in the RSL, Sydney Legacy, the Royal United Services Institute and was a founding member of the Battle for Australia Committee and the Family and Friends of the First AIF. He served proudly as an Ambassador on the NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council and was instrumental in establishing the Sydney Anzac Day Dawn Service Trust. Many people were also educated and entertained when he led tours of the Great War battlefields of Northern France and Flanders.

The books in this collection were used as resource material and formed the basis of much of his research. In addition to his military Interests, Major General Maitland was an avid reader, enjoying the classics, poetry, art and the odd mystery.

The Indigenous Australian Collective

Sydney Rare Book Auctions acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and the traditional custodians of the lands and waters where we live, learn, and work.

Our September 22nd sale features the books, maps and ephemera of The Indigenous Australian Collective. This unique treasury sheds new light on this first chapter in Australia’s history, and aims to bring about a restoration of an ancient Indigenous culture. It includes rare books dating back to the 1770s, early artwork, etchings and maps, together with controversial texts and manuscripts detailing the darker side to colonialisation. Many are extraordinary finds that have never been seen by the public until now.

The Collection features some incredibly rare and moving accounts of explorers’ earliest encounters with the first nations peoples, which include ‘The History of New Holland, from its First Discovery in 1616, to the present time (1787) with a particular account of its produce and inhabitants; and a description of Botany Bay’ to more sinister Government reports including ‘Extracts of Despatches relative to the Massacre of various Aborigines of Australia, in the Year 1838, and respecting the Trial of their Murderers‘, to a collection of 35 Blackbirding documents from 1868 to 1908 relating to the slave trade of South Sea Islanders in NSW and QLD.

Other significant items include:

New South Wales Copies of Royal Instructions for promoting the Moral and Religious Instructions of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of New Holland or Van Diemen’s Land from 1820

Royal Instructions from 1831 re disposing of waste lands (Crown Lands) and Emigration

Bound reports from the Select Committee on Aborigines (British Settlements); with the Minutes of Evidence; Appendix and Index 1836 and 1837 (Australian colonies)

Black War: the Hobart Town Gazette, 16 issues from 1830 re the Black Line military operations against the Aborigines of Tasmania

Aborigines (Australian Colonies): 5 August 1844. Copies or Extracts from the Despatches of the Governors of the Australian colonies, with the Reports of the Protectors of Aborigines, and any other Correspondence to Illustrate the Condition of the Aboriginal Population

Annual Government Reports on the Protection Policies of the Aborigines 1853 to 1952.

This Aboriginal Collection is being offered as one lot and is the first lot in the sale.

Please contact us for a complete catalogue of this remarkable offering.

Fantastic New Auction Venue!

Sydney Rare Book Auctions has moved to a bigger and better venue at C11/372-428 Wattle Street, Ultimo, NSW. The move was in part prompted by growth in the business that has seen increased sales over the last few years and growing demand for the material we handle.

Auctioneer Paul Feain is excited by what he’s seen in recent times. “We have been quietly going about our business, gradually improving on systems and also revenue, and this has meant we’ve outgrown our prior establishment. It’s fantastic to see that in a day where technology is seeing people turn away from traditional printed books, that the world of rare and antique books, maps and ephemera is still strong.”

The Ultimo venue is not only larger in size but also provides a lovely space for displaying items and holding auctions. Also of note is the intention to hold bi-annual Sydney Book Fares on location, as well as regular social and educational functions on all things relating to printed material.

“Sydney Rare Books is a business that’s as much about building a strong book-loving community as it is about selling things. By having passionate and well informed collectors and introducing new people into the fold we will have a better future for the trade.”

The team at Sydney Rare Books looks forward to showing you our new venue when we formally open the doors on the evening of October 19th ahead of our October 21st sale. Prior to that, if you want to pay us a visit, feel free – just ring in advance so we can grab you a coffee!