Antiques and Collectables

“In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.” Uluru Statement from the Heart, May 2017.

By voting YES in the upcoming referendum, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will finally have a say on the policies and laws that affect their communities.

Together, Yes invites people from all walks of life to gather in small group discussions and engage in how a Voice to parliament can make a difference.

For 235 years, since first white settlement, policies affecting Indigenous peoples have not worked effectively. It is time to give a Voice a chance to work and lead us towards a better future together! 

It is a great time to collect the past and invest for your future. Invest in history, invest in knowledge and invest in your own enjoyment. Enjoy a great hobby that will last you a lifetime. Now is a great time to collect in the antiques line as prices are not strong and bargains are there to be had. Like all things, antiques have their troughs and peaks but, they always come back into vogue. Now is the time to get out there and make finds! 

Remember to visit our local haunts – Barry at “Isadora’s” in Victoria Street Taree, Clancy’s Emporium in High St Taree, Col in Commerce St Taree just up from Taree West Newsagents, Sue at Delinquent Funk in Isabella Street in Wingham also Rex at Antiques and Old Wares 12 Isabella Street in Wingham – next to the Newsagents. If you wish to go further afield The Coliseum Antiques at 118 Maitland Road in Mayfield (Newcastle) has around thirty different dealers, each with their own selling space. 

Remember too, our wonderful Regional Museum, in Bent Street Wingham. It survives through donations and people coming through the door. Please visit as you will enjoy the great experience of one of the best Regional Museums.

The story of Australia’s European settlement and the pioneering era cannot be known in fullness until one understands the significance of the humble animal bell. These tools allowed the settlers and drovers to manage their herds and flocks in a land of open plains and unfenced pasture. For almost two centuries, the clunk, tinkle and knock of these bells connected man and beast in a bond of interdependence. The Condamine bells, one of Australia’s most famous, was made by A.H. Ormand. We know this because it bears the maker’s stamp. There were a number of prominent makers who marked their bells, however a vast number of other unmarked bells also exist. These are known as ‘cleanskins’. Bells of this type were made by hundreds of individual blacksmiths across the country and they vary in quality from rudimentary to very good. The bell era in Australia started with European colonisation and continued through the 1800s until the early 1900s. 

Some bells still remain in use today, but generally as novelty items or hanging from the belly of a rodeo bull. Prominent Bell makers Samuel Williams Jones was accredited with making the first Condamine bell. His design was not completely original as his inspiration was from what he had seen in his youth in Britain. However, his bell was generally larger and more suitable for the Australian conditions, and became very popular with drovers and cattleman. Christy Andersen, Fred Andersen, Alf Ormand, James Ormand and Alf Ormand Jnr, Thomas Beckett continued in the tradition of the Condamine shape, whereas southern bell makers like August Menneke and Anthony Mongan preferred Pot and Kentucky-shaped bells. All makers listed here made iron bells and used identifying stamps on their products. Bell shapes and sizes varied greatly, with the Condamine only one type. Kentucky, Texas, Pot, Clucket and Canister were other iron bells that are common in collections today. Then there were the brass bells and these came in many shapes and sizes also. Most of these were imported from England where the foundry industry was well developed in the 1800s.

Some bells were known as “one milers” or “two milers” because on a still night that is the distance drovers could hear movement in their cattle.

Bells of all shapes and sizes make a great collection.

If you have interesting antique items you are not sure of, I may be able to help with information, appraisals and/or sales. I am still collecting and I love the history and stories of old and unique items (from old shed goods to household gems). Come and say hello at our shop at 12 Isabella Street in Wingham, right next to the Newsagent. 

Take care and stay safe. Happy collecting!

Remember your vote is important. Whatever the outcome, we need to live together with respect and keeping our eyes on making Australia the best place, in the world, for us all to live!

Phone Rex – 0427 880 546

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