More Idriess, Australiana, Manuscripts, Historic Documents, Maps and Photographs

February 13 2021

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).