Sydney's auction house scene has a healthy and long-standing history; from furniture, art, bric-a-brac and former estate collections, to jewellery, vintage clothing and design objects—there is an auction to suit your taste and whims.
Of course some auction establishments are better suited to the high-end of town, but don't despair, there are great auction houses that cater to people just like you and me, with a little cash in the pocket looking for something unique.
Here is our pick of Sydney's most interesting auction houses.
Shapiro Auctioneers and Gallery
Located in Woollahra on the corner of Queen Street and Alton Street, Shapiro Auctioneers and Gallery specialise in art, fine jewellery, vintage clothing and design objects. At the higher end of the market, expect quality and a focus on contemporary design.
The catalogue for each upcoming auction is available online two weeks prior to the event on the Shapiro website. Estimated values are published in the catalogue, items can start from around $100 and make their way well up from there.
To give you an idea of styles, previous auctions have included: 20th and 21st Century Art and Design; Fine Jewellery; Vintage Couture From The Victoria and Albert Boutique; Modern and Contemporary Art; Artworks From The Collection Of Peter Fay; and Claire Dan Estate, The Contents Of 23 Victoria Road Bellevue Hill.
Absentee and phone bid forms can be downloaded from the website if you are unable to attend the actual day. A 20% premium goes to the auction house on top of the hammer price.
Address: 162 Queen Street, Woollahra NSW 2025
Ph: (02) 9326 1588
Raffan Kelaher & Thomas
Annandale's Raffan Kelaher & Thomas offer fantastic weekly and periodic specialty auctions focusing on furniture, homewares, design objects and jewellery. This is 'the' destination if you are looking at revamping your home and love different periods of design. The weekly auctions are held on the Monday and Tuesday of each week, kicking off at 9am. Viewings of all items are held on Saturday from 9am to 12pm and from 8am Monday and Tuesday. If you can't make it on the day of auction you can simply leave an absentee bid at the viewing on Saturday, auctioneers are on hand to give you the estimated value of all items. Additionally phone and internet bidding is an option.
The weekly auctions are definitely worth a visit, personally I have found some beautiful bargains and Mid Century Modern gems. Upcoming specialty auctions include:
February the 24th
20the Century Design
March the 3rd
Jewellery & Silver
April the 7th
Linen, Lace, Toys & Dolls
April the 14th
Paintings & Prints
Address: 42-48 John Street, Leichhardt NSW 2040
Ph: 02 9552 1899
Lawsons Auctioneers & Valuers
This Leichhardt institution runs general weekly auctions and specialty auctions periodically. Specialising in furniture, design, fine jewellery and art, it garners quite the eclectic mix, generally at the lower end of the pricing scale when it comes to furniture and art, but the jewellery prices are higher.
They are open for viewing Thursdays 8am – 5pm and the auction starts at 11am. Fridays, viewings begin at 8am and the auction starts at 9am. Specialty auction highlights include:
February the 7th
20th Century & Industrial Antiques
February the 13th
Prints & Graphics
February the 14th
Books & Ephemera
February the 20th
Aboriginal & Tribal Art
February the 21st
Wine & Spirits
February the 27th
Fine Deco Arts, Jewellery & Art
February the 28th
Address: 8-16 Moore Street, Leichhardt NSW 2040
Ph: 02 9566 2377
Image credit: Flickr