An original oil painting by Archibald Prize-winning artist Sir William Dargie and an autographed poster of Sir Joh … both are up for auction

August 6, 2020

Ever fancied owning Lady Bjelke-Petersen’s cake tins or Sir Joh’s walking stick? The current bid on Lloyds Auctions’ website are just $270 for the tins and $330 for the stick.

Or perhaps the former Premier’s briefcase ($2000), desk ($1700) or a 1982 Jaguar Sovereign (white, unregistered, 264,576km – current bid $6400) are more your style?

The Bjelke-Petersen family has put Sir Joh and Lady Flo’s estate up for auction, with more than 800 items to be sold with no reserve prices.

The lots range from the sublime – an original oil painting of Sir Joh by multiple Archibald Prize winner Sir William Dargie (current bid $2650) – to the less so.

How would you like to own the family’s peg basket? The current bid is $31.

There’s an original Pro Hart painting (current bid $3800) as well as multiple paintings, lithographs and prints by known and unknown artists in various conditions.

You could own some of Sir Joh’s ties … they’re going under the hammer in bundles of three.

A bunch of Flo’s recipes (loose leaf) are fetching $230.

There’s also a few pieces of original Barambah Pottery from Cherbourg that should interest collectors: a stylish vase ($110 current bid) and salt and pepper shakers ($140).

The current bid is $2 for a silver-plated baby cup presented to the Bjelke-Petersens by the Cloyna QCWA; $1 is the offering for a miniature jar inscribed “Murgon Lions”.

A birthday card from Sir Joh to Flo – quoting a verse from the Book of Numbers – is currently valued at $102.

Museums could be interested in Sir Joh’s original appointment as a Minister of the Crown ($290) or patent documents sent to manufacturer Sunshine for a peanut planter.

There’s Oriental ornaments, books, records, silver-plated trays and trowels, posters, cutlery, crockery, glassware … in fact all the bits and pieces Australian families seemed to gather during the ’60s and ’70s plus the memorabilia of small presents collected from an extensive life in politics.

Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen was the longest-serving Premier of Queensland and Lady Bjelke-Petersen served as a Queensland Senator for 12 years.

“We have come to the end of the era of Joh and Flo’s partnership in which they achieved so much for both Queensland and Australia during their political careers,” the Bjelke-Petersen family told Lloyds.

“Therefore as a family we have decided to allow the sale of Dad and Mum’s collection which has been in their home at Bethany for many years. We are sure those who acquire items from this collection will honour and treasure them as much as our whole family has.”

Lloyds Auctions’ chief operations officer Lee Hames said the event was extremely rare.

“We feel very privileged to honour and support the Bjelke-Petersen family where they have entrusted us to auction over 800 treasured items each with their own story to tell,” he said.

“The community really have this once-in-a-lifetime chance to become a custodian of a cherished piece of Australian history and share a story that will be remembered forever.”

Some of the 800 items up for auction … clockwise from top left, an original Pro Hart painting; Sir Joh’s desk; a soup ladle featuring Flo’s famous pumpkin scone recipe; Sir Joh’s briefcase; an autographed lunch souvenir signed by some of the Apollo 11 astronauts; and the ‘Bethany’ sign from the couple’s Kingaroy property
The 1982 Jaguar Sovereign to be sold unregistered

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3 Responses to "Joh’s Life Goes Under The Hammer"

  1. Bouncer  August 7, 2020

    Why isn’t all this memorabilia being put into a commemorative museum funded by the National Party of Queensland? Shame on you National Party.

  2. Disgruntled  August 8, 2020

    Exactly my thoughts too, Bouncer.

    It is almost as if they are ashamed of that very important part of our history? Maybe they are frightened of all today’s “virtue signallers” ?

  3. Phil  August 11, 2020

    A very important part of our history indeed, and a shameful one on many levels, which is why it is being almost “struck from the records”.


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