Just days before more than 10,000 militaria pieces went under the hammer, the Australian government has declared items within the deceased-estate auction as ‘protected objects’.
CAPTION: Two images courtesy Lloyds Auctions, merged by CONTACT.
The ruling means that some items in the auction could be banned from leaving Australian soil because of their historical significance.
Chief Operations Officer for Lloyds Auctions Lee Hames said the auction house received an email from the Federal government stating that the collection had come to their attention, and they were flagging that some items may come under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986.
Under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986, items are subject to export control outlined in the ‘National Cultural Heritage Control List, Schedule 1 and a valid permit must be granted by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications for items to be permitted to leave the country, if at all.
“One of the items that the government specifically flagged was an Australian 2-pounder anti-tank gun built by General Motors Holden in 1942 in South Australia,” Mr Hames said.
“Only 892 were manufactured locally and used by Australian forces during World War II.
“The bid on this piece alone is already more than $25,000 ,so who knows what it could sell for come auction day.
“It could be set to fetch six figures, as we are still a couple days out from it going under the hammer.
“We commend the government for preserving and keeping history within Australia and we really hope that Australian museums and libraries perhaps purchase some of these items to display and preserve these significant pieces of history and honour them with educational purposes for many years to come.
“Perhaps Holden might even purchase the 2-pounder anti-tank gun to preserve and put on display at their head office.”
Mr Hames said Lloyds had already had thousands of enquires from all around the world as the militaria collection was one of the biggest and featured some of the rarest items ever to be offered in a single collection.
“We have had enquiry from all over Europe and Asia and from passionate collectors and militaria enthusiasts, so we are sure that there will be many custodians that will treasure these collectables just as previous custodian Rod Bellars did throughout his lifetime,” Mr Hames said.
“The “Rod Bellars Collection” was built over 60 years, accumulating items from all around the world.
“Sadly, his recent passing has meant these amazing icons of history have to find new custodians.”