Treasures from Australia’s past lying hidden in sheds around the country are now being hunted by collectors with a fresh appreciation of the worth of local memorabilia.
”People often have a lot of obsolete stuff in their sheds,” said John Wade of The Australiana Society, and editor of the magazine Australiana. But ”there are things around that are historically or artistically important”.
He said a lot of these items come up at country auctions.
One such auction is due to take place on February 18 in Hay, with more than 800 lots being sold off from the farm of a man who collected Australiana for more than 50 years.
Among the items to be auctioned are a Furphy water cart, Kangaroo Oil bottles, an old buggy, vintage vehicles such as a 1947/53 Chev 2/3 tonne truck, a 1965 Valiant AP6 sedan and Ford and Chev blitz wagons.
One 1930s Furphy tank auctioned at the beginning of February in Echuca fetched a record $26,000, when bought by a specialist collector.
Stock and station agent Ian Macleod, of Ian Macleod Real Estate, said the Hay auction was likely to attract buyers from all over NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
“I would think the items will fetch $50,000 to $100,000,” he said.
“There’s so many things here, it’s quite incredible, from a Kangaroo Oil company bottle to the water cart, cars, bikes, records, cast ironware, even an old pinball machine.
“These items all become more valuable as they became rarer, and prices go up. Some of these items for auction haven’t been seen by many people as the collector was a fairly private person.”
That collector was roo-shooter Paul Wooding, who died five years ago, aged 67.
His widow Sintra, 70, who also worked as a roo-shooter, is now selling off the entire collection as she prepares to move from the farm into a retirement village in Queensland’s Moreton Bay region.
They moved to the farm in Hay in 1999. “He just loved old things,” Mrs Wooding said.
“He displayed them around the house and in the shed but we’d only allow friends and family to see it.”
As well as the selection of vehicles and spare parts for cars and trucks, there are camp ovens, blacksmiths’ tools, wagon wheels, horse-drawn ploughs, a cigarette-vending machine, old tricycles and petrol bowsers.