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2001-03, 329, Auctions, Book collecting, Richard Overell

News and Notes from Melbourne

Australian Book Auctions have held another successful auction, on Monday and Tuesday 26-27 March. This included the collec-tions of Eric Stock and the late Ian McLaren.

Both of these collectors concentrated on classic Australiana. Eric Stock had formed a fine cabinet collection. All his books were in excellent condition.

Although most of Ian McLaren‟s books are in the Baillieu Li-brary at the University of Melbourne, the volumes in the auction were items he held back to assist him in compiling his multi-volume bibliography of Australian discovery and exploration.

Nick Dawes, one of the principals in Australian Book Auctions, has agreed to provide us with a report on this auction.

Albert Ullin, the founder of the Little Book Room, the foremost children‟s book shop in Melbourne, spoke at the recent AGM of the Victorian Branch of the Book Collectors‟ Society. He gave a charming talk which will be reported in full in a future number of Biblionews. He showed some unique and lovely items from his personal collection. One that stood out was a first edition of Elea-nor Farjeon‟s novel, The Little Book Room, with its wrap-round pictorial dust-jacket. This was signed by Edward Ardizzone, and was formerly in the collection of the bookseller Marguerita Web-ber, purchased by Albert at the Kenneth Hince auction of the Webber books.

The next talk to the Book Collectors will be on Thursday eve-ning, 31 May, at the State Library of Victoria. Des Cowley will speak on John Gould. Those who attend will have the chance to see not only the Birds of Australia, but also some of Gould‟s other publications, including his Birds of Paradise.

Derek Orchard, the bookseller who owned All at Sea, a book-shop mentioned in my June 1997 editorial, now has another book-shop, Tattered Covers, at 203 High Street, Ashburton (ph. 98850266). All at Sea, which was sold, is unfortunately closing down. It is at 1357 Toorak Rd., Burwood, near the corner of Warrigal Road (ph. 9809 2344).

Stately and Plump, the Joycean bookshop in Northcote, has closed, but Chris Sayers, the proprietor, has moved his stock to Angels Treasures in Warrigal Rd., Oakleigh, opposite the Oak-leigh Football ground (ph. 9568 1109). This shop has a good range of reasonably priced, general, second-hand stock.

Most readers will not know about Black Stump Books, 1 Harry Lacey Lane, Croydon (ph. 9724 9577; it is best to phone first as it has odd hours). It is in fact in the middle of a shopping centre car park. As the name would suggest, it specialises in Australiana. It also has a good general stock, including children‟s books.

The newest bookshop is The Grisly Wife, at 61a Silverdale Rd., Eaglemont (ph 94971544). It is named after a Rodney Hall novel (autographed copies of the first edition are available). Rodney Hall opened the shop on Saturday 14 April. John and Kay Thawley, the proprietors, collected much of their stock in the USA when they were living there, so the shop is rich in US editions with unusual dust-wrappers. The whole stock is in fine to very fine condition. The specialisation is Australian literature but you will find general Australiana, travel, Pacificana, and New Guinea material as well as material on the Aborigines. The shop also carries some new stock. They are open Mondays, then Wednesdays to Saturdays.

Richard Overell

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