Auction 104 Highlights

Welcome to Smalls Auctions Sale No 104.

The highlights of this auction are Currency items and First Edition Books relating to Australia’s very early history.

There are two Van Diemen’s Land Promissory Notes which stand out as the finest known surviving examples issued by these Hobart Town traders in the 1820’s. Young & Dillon, Wholesale Wine and Spirit Merchants of Argyle Street, and John Lepine a Cabinet Maker and Upholsterer of Humphrey Street,  issued small denomination ‘banknotes’ to make up for the lack of circulating currency in the fledgling colony. The Government of the day turned a convenient blind eye to this illegal practice as it did the bartering of Government issued Commissariat Notes that were signed over as payment for goods and services. There are three examples of these in the sale as well as a private issue backed by the ‘Wesleyan Missionary Society of Hatton Garden London’. Equally intriguing is a Commissariat Note issued at the Cape of Good Hope in 1839 that made its way to Hobart Town after criss-crossing the World and being signed over at least twice before it was redeemed. It is extremely important as an historical document which tracks how international trade was conducted in these times.

There is also a First Edition of the exceedingly rare ‘Officer on Board "A Voyage Round the World in the Years MDCCLXXII, LXXIII, LXXIV, LXXV by Captain James Cook’ an anonymous and unofficial account that predated the official report of the voyage. This has been latterly attributed to Lieutenant Pickersgill who accompanied Captain Cook on the voyage. As well there are First Editions of Governors Arthur Phillips and John Hunter’s Journals and an account of the explorer John Oxley’s journeys as well as an account of the voyage of the ‘Beagle’ as it mapped the coast of Northern Australia. All are rare insights into the discovery and development of early Australia.

Of local interest are three maritime watercolours produced by the Sydney Artist Fred Elliot. Elliot was a prolific artist who resided in the suburb of Paddington on the shores of Sydney Harbour. Local folklore has it that Fred would produce and sell a painting for the price of a bottle of beer but the three paintings on offer in this sale hung on the walls of his Paddington terrace house and were never sold in his lifetime. They are emblematic of War-time Sydney when it was frequented by Naval craft protecting our shores from the rampaging Japanese.

The other major offering in the sale is an array of Fine Jewellery at affordable prices which should come in handy as gifts into the lead up to this very changed Yuletide Season.

Happy bidding

Smalls Auctions