Live Auction

Sat 13th Jun 2020

Time: 12:00pm

Our first Australian & Historical auction for the year. And once again, the reasons we say thank you to our many vendors for consigning such a terrific range of material, will become obvious as you leaf through the following pages. Please be in touch with us if you would like to come in to view or if you plan to attend the auction. We will be strictly following federal and state government directives regarding the rules under which we can conduct this auction, so communicating during the coming weeks will be important.

As we work on the consignments that help us build a catalogue like this, it won’t come as a surprise to you to learn that some items create particular excitement, amusement, astonishment or just become our favourites for one reason or another. For the brief time that some of these pieces are in our care, we feel like we are the collectors and we get to enjoy them before they find new homes, with you!

Here are some of our favourites in this catalogue:

A carved wood 19th century ship’s masthead figure of Don Francisco Assis de Bourbon (Lot 10), not something you’ll see very often. Continuing the maritime theme, there is a lovely group of cased display model ships (Lots 15, 16, 20, 24 & 26). A rare pair of Colonial boxes (Lot 75), made from Tasmanian musk with myrtle secondary timbers, the interiors fitted with compartments, and bottles were made by F.B. DALE in Sydney in 1844 and remarkably, have survived together. Equally remarkable is the “Australian Flora” set of 6 porcelain dinner plates, circa 1880, stamped “Wedgwood, Australian Flora” (Lot 76).

The apprentice furniture pieces that come our way are always interesting, this one (Lot 86) is particularly fine. To see real mastery in woodwork though, don’t miss the works of Franzis Edmond Striezel (Lots 104 and 105), who worked with the better known Robert Prenzel but whose work is much less known. The highlights of the Pottery section – for us – are Klytie Pate’s luminous pierced table lamp (Lot 243) and two examples of the combined skills of Arthur Merric Boyd and Neil Douglas (Lots 246 & 247).

The books, documents and newspaper section is particularly rich. (Lot 268) is a London Gazette but you’ll see the title is the “Oxford Gazette”. Did you know that for the first six months of 1665 the newspaper was published in Oxford because  Charles II and the Royal Court had moved to Oxford to escape the Great Plague of London, and courtiers were unwilling to touch London newspapers for fear of contagion. These earliest editions are extremely scarce. “THE PENNSYLVANIA PACKET, AND DAILY ADVERTISER” of October 6, 1789 (Lot 287) includes a column headed “Congress of the United States” showing the Twelve Articles of Amendment just approved by Congress; very relevant at the moment.  The set of Hawkesworth’s “Account of the Voyages undertaken by the order of His present Majesty for making Discoveries in the Southern Hemisphere, and successively performed by Commodore Byron, Captain Wallis, Captain Carteret, and Captain Cook” is notable because all the charts, maps and plates are present (Lot 286). A report in the New York Herald brings news from Gettysburg (Lot 323) and the New York Times (Lot 325) reports on the Assassination of Lincoln. It’s incredible to read about these history-changing events as news.

Australian history is well represented too, with original documents regarding Reverend Marsden of Norfolk Island, New South Wales and New Zealand fame (Lot 292) and Thomas Mitchell (Lot 305) amongst them. But perhaps the most unusual lot – and the most remarkable survivor in this section is the hand-written 1902 diary of Thomas Bavin, (Lot 349), who was, at the time, Edmond Barton’s private secretary. There’s a book in this this!!

We don’t want to keep you much longer, but just to mention a few more of our favourites: (Lot 383) a fine collection of Aboriginal subject postcards, (Lot 397) a remarkable engraved powderhorn from Van Diemen’s Land, (Lot 403) a document regarding one of the few female convicts sent to Norfolk Island, (Lot 417) a beautiful library bookcase, (Lot 430) an Exhibition quality Anglo-Indian centre table, (Lots 444) a beautiful huon pine seven drawer chest of drawers, (Lot 500) a superb example of the furniture designed and created by Sol Shapiro, (Lot 559) a superb Western Australian goldfields brooch by Charles Henry May, (Lot 593) the medals and associated ephemera of a Victorian Imperial Bushmens Regiment Trooper and (Lot 594) a Melbourne Cavalry tunic and white helmet. There are several other incredible war-related items, in particular (Lot 600) a superb march-past photograph from Melbourne, (Lot 606) an extremely rare Gallipoli image and (Lot 650) a piece of artwork created by a prisoner in the Hay Internment Camp. And that only gets us to the end of the first session!

Day Two includes a fabulous range of posters, drawn together from four different collections. Don’t miss (Lot 692) by Lewis, (Lot 701) the charming Zoo image, (Lot 703) by Collins, and (Lots 705, 714 and 715) all by the great James Northfield, several of which we have never offered before. We are particularly proud of the Paintings and Artworks section this time. Thanks to our vendors for (Lot 760) a charming Tom Roberts drawing, (Lot 761) a wonderful Darwin view by Jessie Trail, (Lot 768) a suite of watercolours by S.T. Gill, (Lot 777) our front-cover image by Gill, (Lot 818)  by Norman Lloyd, (Lots 836 – 841) a group of painting by Raymond Wallis that have never been on the market, (Lot 845) by Albert Namatjira, two fine paintings by Hugh Sawrey (Lots 853 and 854), some original shirts designed by the remarkable Reg Mombassa (Lots 925 – 929) and a great little section of Grange Hermitage wines (Lots 930-935) to finish the day.

We are very excited about this auction, as you can tell. We hope you enjoy reviewing the contents of the catalogue as much as we have enjoyed bringing it to you. And, as always, if you need additional information, we’re always ready to help. We hope this finds you happy and healthy and enjoying the people and things that bring you pleasure.

The team at Leski Auctions.


Session 1
Saturday 13 June – 12.00pm AEST
001–072 Scrimshaw & Maritime Memorabilia
073–213 General
214–229 Aboriginal & Tribal
230–264 Australian Pottery
265–267 Autographs
268–396 Books, Documents & Ephemera
397–414 The Convict Era
415–501 Furniture
502–529 Goldfields Memorabilia
530–555 Silver
556–579 Jewellery
580–585 Historical Maps
586–667 Military Memorabilia

Session 1
Sunday 14 June – 2.00pm AEST
668–687 Photographs
688–753 Advertising & Propaganda Posters
754–758 Railway Memorabilia
759–929 Paintings and other Artworks
930–941 Fine Australian Wines, etc.