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

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.

We were the auction house that was 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, realised in excess of A$13,000,000 over 2005-2008, breaking all Australian records and quite a few world records.

In addition to regular multi-vendor sales, we have conducted sales of many other important private collections, including the rare Australian books, documents and prints of Denis Joachim, important English literature, Private Press, and crime fiction from the library of Dr. John Tange, the collection of John Lane Mullins under instructions from Sancta Sophia College at the University of Sydney, the modern first editions and detective fiction of Dr. John Loder, interesting documents, photographs, ephemera, and drawings from the Berry Family Estate, Australian voyages and explorations from the library of Dr. Eric Stock, and books from the libraries of Ian F. McLaren AO, Dr H.N.B. Wettenhall AO, Syd Trigellis-Smith AO, Kevin Crotty, Hugh Wettenhall, Sir Thomas Ramsay, the Hawker Library, and Dr. Geoffrey Lilburne, among many others.

We 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, the family archive of noted detective novelist Arthur Upfield, the Samuel Lazarus Eureka Rebellion diary, original manuscripts of John Batman, and many more.

The Directors

Barbara Hince, has extensive experience in the book world as the owner of Kenneth Hince Fine & Rare Books, and as a valuer of major institutional libraries. Barbara is one of the founders, and a current director, of Australian Book Auctions.

Jonathan Wantrup, owner of New Century Antiquarian Books. Specialising in rare and important Australian books, manuscripts, and ephemera, Jonathan Wantrup has worked as a bookseller and as an auctioneer for over three decades. He is the author of the standard collector’s reference Australian Rare Books 1788-1900 (revised and expanded edition 2023). Jonathan is one of the founders, and a current director, of Australian Book Auctions.


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.

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.

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