Our next sale will be held online only with lots ending from 9AM on July 11th. This sale will feature historic parliamentary papers covering everything from military, mining and rail, to policing, Pacific Islands and immigration. Many of the papers are illustrated and contain maps.


June Sale Success!

Our June 13th Sale was a huge success, with a clearance rate of close to 90% and some fantastic results achieved. Some of the highlights included a 1789 Tench Narrative selling for approximately $9,000, a signed Henry Lawson achieved $2,500, a first edition Agatha Christie reached $1,500 and a Sydney Harbour Bridge Construction Report went under the hammer for $3,125. The pottery and art sold well, with almost all pieces finding buyers. Similarly the juvenile titles and art books proved popular. While they may not be the in fashion at the moment, there are still eager buyers in these categories, however condition is everything.

As always, ephemera was of particular interest. The extensive collection of swimming material in the catalogue all sold for healthy prices, with lots being purchased by private collectors, dealers and institutions. It’s great to see such wonderful material find good homes! Other ephemeral items included a myriad of bookplates, all of which sold, as well as scrapbooks and postcards.

Maps are a category that is currently quite popular. Looking at the data it’s difficult to find a trend, however early Australian maps are generally good sellers. As with most things, buyers are quite discerning, and there is a significant difference between the sale price of an average condition item, and one that is good to fine.

Across the sale we had in excess of 300 different buyers, with the majority being in Australia. However, there was significant interest out of Europe and North America, which indicates our reach continues to grow and the popularity of our sales extends well beyond domestic borders.

Our next auction will be scheduled shortly, with an online only parliamentary papers sale in July and our usual in-room/online auction of various material taking place in mid August.

June 13th Sale!

During the shutdown we have been busy preparing for this big June sale. It will be another beauty as we have lots of interesting and rare material on offer!

We are selling the estate of the late Fred Lane. Fred was the first Australian to win a swimming gold medal at the Olympics and that was in 1900. Interestingly Fred still holds an Olympic Record for the 200 meters freestyle obstacle race. Fred was not only a champion swimmer but became a fine art printer and printed bookplates for all the literati of Sydney. So in this sale is some very important sporting memorabilia as well as bookplates and Norman Lindsay material. We are selling a certificate from when Fred broke a world swimming record in 1899, items signed by him and other Olympic Gold Medal winners. This includes a programme signed by both Fred Lane and Fanny Durack who was the first Australian woman to win a swimming Gold Medal at the Olympics. She was also the first woman in the world to win a swimming Gold Medal as the 100 meters was the first event held for women in swimming. Fred Lane’s house was destroyed by fire when Fred was 90 years old. Very little survived from this fire but we are offering what did survive. Some of it is sadly smoke affected and some is in very good condition but it is all important.

We are selling the estate of the late Craig Shaw who was an astute collector of bushranging and convict material. There are some lovely unique items here including an original photograph of Ben Hall and a Ticket of Leave issued to a woman convict. Its the only one I have ever seen issued to a woman. There is lots of good Australian history on offer here.

We are also expanding our sales and including a number of non book items. There is a very good range of Australian pottery and a number of good Australian paintings including Lister Lister and Muir Auld as well as some relating to bushranging.

We continue to sell, as we will for some time to come, items from the estates of Doug MacKenzie and Alan Ives. The auction after this will include a number of books from the estate of the late Dr Harrison. Stay tuned!

At this stage we don’t know what the Government will allow so it may be an online only sale. Viewing by appointment will  be available.

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 or phoning Paul on 0452 228 982