Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Scoop Homes and Art 35 Contents VIRTANEN
ANTIQUES & MODERN
ORIGINAL ICONIC PIECES FROM SCANDINAVIA
BIEDERMEIER, ART DECO, EMPIRE
AND 20th CENTURY
we deliver to any location in Australia weekly
Sharen & Kent Virtanen
Showroom 933 High St Armadale Victoria 03 9822 7879
Military antiques | Soldier on
John Burridge Military Antiques 91 Shenton Road, Swanbourne
(08) 9384 1218, jbma .co m. au . Imprimatur Books Book room
open by appointment only (08) 9295 3911 or 0417 964 530,
imprimaturbooks.com.au . Military History Society of Australia
mhsa.org.au . A rms and Armour Society Holds regular militaria
swap meets and fairs, waarmsandarmour.com. Army Museum
of WA Fremantle Artillery Barracks, Burt Street, Fremantle (08)
9430 2535, armymuseumwa.com.au.
of grandma giving one medal to each grandchild, thinking she’s
doing the right thing,” says John. “But really, it’s like taking a
Rembrandt and cutting it up.”
A single victory medal could be worth $20, but if it’s the
medal that completes a Victoria Cross (VC) group of medals, it
could add $50,000 to the value of the group. The VC is the highest
military decoration, “awarded for valour in the face of the enemy
to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth
countries”, and fewer than 100 have been awarded to Australians.
A full group of medals including a VC could fetch up to $1 million.
John says ephemeral items such as photos in uniform,
discharge papers, commission papers and flying log books are
also worth looking for. “They might not necessarily be valuable
on their own but combined with medals can be very valuable
because it’s all about the man behind the medal,” he says.
Collectors are mostly male, while Wayne says some women are
often interested in personal and souvenir-type pieces, like silk
handkerchiefs and badges used as sweetheart brooches.
Books are also becoming a big part of collecting. Military book
specialist Mick Malone of Imprimatur Books says Australian unit
histories are the most popular, and originals are as rare as hens’
teeth. “Originals are worth serious money, especially if they
come with provenance, such as with a nominal roll, signed by the
author, or out of a library of someone of significance,” says Mick,
who sells originals, reprints and new books that are published to
fill the holes where no history has previously been written.
Mick recently returned from an auction in Adelaide where the
hammer went down at $3600 for a 21st Battalion history, $2000
for a First Battalion and $1000 for a Ninth Battalion.
Although collecting military antiques can be an expensive
hobby, the experts agree you don’t have to have a big collection to
have an interesting collection. “People get enormous enjoyment
just out of the research,” says John. “It’s not necessarily about
what you can buy, it’s how you can accumulate knowledge,” says
Wayne. “People with small budgets can participate, and a great
way to get involved is to join clubs and societies.”
These groups can give advice to new collectors, provide a
social link to people with similar interests and even open the
door to personal collections.
Another great way to learn is by visiting the militaria swap
meets and fairs that are held locally throughout the year. Dates
are to be confirmed for March and October 2013 for the Legacy
Militaria Auction, which is Perth’s major military auction.
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