SAMURAI swords, fossilised shark teeth and Nazi rings were among the wide range of items that went under the hammer in an auction at Portland that exceeded organisers’ expectations.
More than 100 people, plus a large number of internet and phone bidders, turned up at the Glenelg Auction Centre for the Saturday auction which included what was billed as “one of the largest militaria auctions ever held in Australia”.
Don Mahoney, a licensed weapon identifier for Victoria Police, said he was “very worn out” after Saturday’s busy day of bidding.
“It passed our wildest expectations how many turned up and how many were bidding online,” he said.
“It was fiercely fought out on the floor ... and there was a lot of internet bidding.”
Mr Mahoney said one of the big ticket items was a samurai sword which fetched $6500. Some of the guns also went for up to $4000.
He said many of the pieces came from two large collections — one was the estate of a 60-year militaria collector and the other from a collector of 50 years who had been forced to sell-up much of his collection when he moved into a retirement village.
“He said to me that he’d been the caretaker of this collection for 50 years and that we never really own anything in this world, so it was about time someone else had a go at being the caretaker,” Mr Mahoney said.
All guns that went up for sale — which included muskets and old Winchester rifles — were made before 1899 and were unable to be fired.
Beyond the militaria items, Mr Mahoney said there were also a lot of coins that went under the hammer, as well as “some jewellery, a nice collection of old pocket watches, about five or six German Nazi rings that were owned by officers and brought back by soldiers after the war, and fossilised sharks’ teeth”.
Also popular were scrimshawed whale’s teeth.
“There were about 12 of those and every one of them sold for well over what we expected,” he said, adding that some fetched up to $1800.
“At one stage we had six bidders on the floor, three or four online and three phone calls too.”
Mr Mahoney said there were a lot of enquiries about future auctions, with organisers planning to host a similar event in September.