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About Us

Australian Book Auctions is Australia's premier auction house for rare books, manuscripts, and historical and literary properties. Since our foundation in 1999, ABA has become the leading auction house for books and related properties in Australia and one of the leading book auction houses in the world.

ABA is the auction house entrusted with the sale of the highly important DAVIDSON COLLECTION. The sale of the Davidson Collection, the most important collection of Australiana in private hands, has realized in excess of A$13,000,000 over 2005-8, breaking all Australian records and quite a few world records.

In addition to regular multi-vendor sales, ABA has conducted sales of many other important private collections, including the collections of Dr. Eric Stock, Ian F. McLaren AO, Dr H.N.B. Wettenhall AO, Syd Trigellis-Smith AO, Kevin Crotty, Hugh Wettenhall, Sir Thomas Ramsay, the Berry Family Estate, the Hawker Library, Dr. Geoffrey Lilburne, among many others. ABA has also been entrusted with the sale of duplicates from the famous Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts (State Library of Tasmania), the Hawaiian Academy of Arts, as well as other major institutional collections.

We have also handled the sale of highly important literary and historical properties, including an archive of original manuscripts by multiple Booker-Prize winner Mr. Peter Carey, the prosecution Brief for the Trial of Edward "Ned" Kelly, and the family archive of noted detective novelist Arthur Upfield, the Samuel Lazarus Eureka Rebellion diary, John Batman, and many more.


The Directors

Barbara Hince, owner of Kenneth Hince Fine & Rare Books. Barbara has extensive experience in book auctioning with Kenneth Hince Book Auctions (1978-91).

Jonathan Wantrup, owner of New Century Antiquarian Books, is author of the standard collector's reference Australian Rare Books 1788-1900. Jonathan conducted a very successful series of book auctions as founding director of the Book Department of Sotheby's Australia (1989-91).



Dr Gavin de Lacy has worked as an auctioneer & bookseller since 2002, and is approved to value for the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.

Our sales offer something for everyone: travel, voyage art, modern first editions, children's books, art and illustrated books, private press, literary and historical manuscripts, historical and topographical art, Militaria, Australiana, sport and more.


Other services


Australian Book Auctions can provide an appraisal of your collection or a formal valuation for the purposes of sale, probate, taxation incentives or for other taxation purposes.

Collection Advice

We are able to assess and advise on the nature of your collection and the direction in which it could be taken to give it a required structure. If you want your collection to tell its own 'story' or say something about its owner's interests we can assist in developing a cohesive narrative.