Art & Design

Sydney’s Auction House Goldmine

By Jacqui Thompson
29th Jan 2014

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 


Oriental Arts

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

Antique Furniture

Address: 8-16 Moore Street, Leichhardt NSW 2040

Ph: 02 9566 2377

Image credit: Flickr   

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