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A Beginner's Guide to Silver Collecting: Part 1; Identifying, Researching, and Valuing Silver & Silver Plate

Identifying, Researching, and Valuing Silver & Silver PlateEstimated Reading Time: 15 minutesBlog by MoogSilver, one of the most iconic and important precious metals, has enjoyed an illustrious history. Naturally malleable and workable, with a lovely glossy colour and sheen, silver can be found in many forms - coins, cutlery, designer homewares, jewellery, trophies and medallions, and muc...

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Deep Dives: A Selection from the Estate of Allan J. Campbell AM, OBE, OMRI (b.1904 - d.2001)

Sometimes at the Auction Barn we are presented with such a compelling collection of pieces from an estate that we’re forced to delve deeper. In this case, it was into the archives of the National Library, into the history of WWII in Brisbane, into esoteric knight orders and into the American Embassy in Tokyo following the Japanese surrender.This is all found within the archives, papers, and object...

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Double Letter License Plate 'XX' Up For Auction

Double Letter License Plate 'XX' Up For AuctionEstimated Reading Time: 3 minutes • Last updated: 05/05/2023Blog by ZaneLicense plates are not just a functional requirement for vehicle registration, but also cultural artifacts that reflect the identity and history of different regions and nations. Collecting license plates can provide a unique opportunity to explore and learn ab...

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Guess the Object #7

So soon after our last fantastic item, a Japanese clockwork flycatcher, we wanted to share a much simpler little item with similarly exceptional craftsmanship. We asked a few things - what it’s made out of, who is featured on it, and what it’s for - and while you gave it a solid crack, no one managed to get a three out of three! [To Right: Our mystery object, laid flat.]A little thing, made o...

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A Staffordshire Figure of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

We have a new visitor joining us here at the Auction Barn this week - and a most distinguished guest he is! - in the form of the splendid Staffordshire figure of Arthur Wellesley, more commonly known as the Duke of Wellington.[To Right: the titular Staffordshire figure of a gentleman in a rather fancy chair, resting his hand under his chin pensively, with a paper in the other]This model of the mod...

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Guess the Object: #3, 4, and 5 spectacular!

Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes • Last updated: 21/12/2022Blog by Moog It’s been a while since we revealed the answers to a few interesting mystery items we’ve had the pleasure of selling at the Auction Barn over 2021 and 2022, and to close out the year we’ve made a post regaling the history of some of these most peculiar objects! In late August 2021, we also asked you ...

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An Out of this World Piece: A Star Wars Billboard from Toltoys

Some of our visitors may have noticed that the Auction Barn recently has become the home of a very large bit of Star Wars memorabilia – but did you know it’s a part of Australian Star Wars history?This huge three piece poster is a variation on one of the original 1977 Star Wars posters illustrated by the legendary Tom Jung, who created the most iconic early images of the franchise now so ubiquitou...

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A Brief Guide to: Cufflinks

Cufflinks were invented at the end of the 18th century. As men’s shirts moved from being only undergarments, ruffs fastened with string or ribbon emerged from jacket sleeves. But men’s fashion was highly competitive back then. Before long, trend-setters figured out they could better flaunt their wealth if they replaced the ribbons with bejewelled buttons linked with a small chain. By the mid-...

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A Brief Guide to – Cloisonné

Cloisonné (in English Clo-so-nee) is an ancient technique in which small cells are created from thin strips of wire and stuck all over a metal object to create a decorative pattern. The small cells, called cloisons, are then filled with coloured material. The wire usually remains visible in the finished piece, separating the different coloured cloisons.Cloisonné is believed to have been invented i...

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Auction Barn Finds: A Wealth of Coin Purses

Items come to the barn in multiple ways - storage unit emptying, estate clearances, or op-shop (and tip!) finds. We rarely know what’s coming unless there’s a handy inventory provided, and sometimes opening up a box filled with treats is like Christmas morning! We’d like to show you the results of one of these such finds: a charming antique timber box full to the brim with a wonderful collect...

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A Brief Guide to: Crystal Tableware

What precisely is crystal? It’s simple: to be crystal, glass must have at least 24% lead content. But why is it so much better than glass? Again, it’s simple: Crystal is much stronger than standard glass, which means crystal wine and water glasses are much thinner than standard glasses. And it’s true, a thin crystal rim feels so much better to use. Better “mouth feel” is what wine aficionados...

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An Auction in the 'Forrest'

 On occasion, the Barn is lucky enough to be invited to sell the contents of a home, and oversee the dispersal of a lifetime of collecting. Artworks go to grace new walls, antique porcelain and vintage cutlery now laid out on modern dining tables, and a happy owner brings home an old (new) bedroom lamp. Some estates are special, however, because of the quality and style of the pieces ins...

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The Fine Sale, Session Three: The Tea Caddy (A History of Tea in Objects, #1)

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes • Last updated: 2.03.2022Blog by MoogTea is a staple of modern life: there’s nothing better than a hot cuppa on a cold day, and as we head out of Summer and into Autumn and Winter here in Canberra, we’d like to explore a unique object tied closely to the history of tea.Our Fine Antiques Auction is exceedingly lucky to have a fine selection of items ...

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(Un)sinking a Ship: The HMS Resource II in Pictures

Every week at the Auction Barn, we receive loads of fascinating objects, from the vintage to the ancient, from the luxurious to the everyday. Everything has a story, and today we’ll tell you the story we discovered from a small metal cigar tin filled with photographs. Recently in the news, we’ve heard of the finding of the wreck of the Endeavour, a ship whose history is indelibly linked to the his...

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A Diamond (Mark) in the Rough: Decoding British Registry Marks

Decoding British Registry MarksEstimated Reading Time: 20 minutes • Last updated: 21.12.21Blog by MoogAn experienced hunter of antiques or vintage pieces always knows to look for marks - signatures, stamps, numbers, manufacturer’s name plates or even stickers and scribbles left by previous owners can be the ticket to a wealth of information on the piece itself and its provenance. Th...

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Guess the Object #6: A Japanese Clockwork Flycatcher

Let's start off the year with our first Guess the Object game courtesy of our lovely vendors here at The Auction Barn!Dropped off as part of a collection of clocks, this object shares a few things in common with your typical timber-cased clock, but for a very different and innovative purpose.[To Right: A mysterious box!]Consisting of a timber box, separated into various segments and attachments, t...

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Guess the Object #1

Guess the Object #1: A Wolseley Sheep Shearing ScrewdriverEstimated Reading Time: 2 minutes • Last updated: 28.8.21 Blog by Moog B Back in July, we posted our first ever #guessthatobject challenge by featuring an unusual little metal object. Round, with two flat metal prongs, and marked ‘Wolseley’, this item was very familiar to a lot of our readers! First Image:...

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Anyone can sell at The Auction Barn. Individuals, Businesses, Government Departments, Liquidators, and Importers. A selling profile can be developed to suit the situation. Contact one of our vendor managers today.


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