Jack’s collection draws interest

By Zoe McMaugh

Jack Lee (pictured) was known for his eclectic collection of antiques and other items of interest.

They were housed immaculately in a purpose built shed in the yard of his Berrigan home, and items were added all the time.

The collection was not often made public, except occasionally to local school children learning about history and to family and friends.

Mr Lee’s collection has been rarely viewed since his death in 2012, and his children felt it was time the items were the object of affection for an avid collector again.

In a marathon auction in Berrigan on Sunday — starting at 10am and finishing just after 8pm — the majority of the collection went to private collectors, shops and even the Berrigan historical society.

Some items of family importance were retained by the family.

Mr Lee’s daughter Libby Brown said one of the big ticket items was a bottle, which sold for $11,800.

‘‘It was a marble bottle from Cod, with a swagman on it.  It is believed to be from Rutherglen.

‘‘I don’t think dad even realised what it was. It was just among the other bottles he had collected because they looked a bit different.

‘‘The items in dad’s collection were not about collecting anything of financial value. Most were because they had significance to our family.

‘‘Dad was in World War II and had brought back a few items, and inherited some other souvenirs from his parents and my mum’s (Stella’s) parents from World War I. 

‘‘Mum was also very involved with dad’s love of all ‘old things’. She attended many clearance sales with dad, as well as helping him restore and display the items in their private museum.

‘‘The shed was his quiet place to go after a hard day’s work in the business.’’

As the business owner of EJ Lee and Co in Berrigan, Massey Ferguson items were also key among Mr Lee’s collection.

Items from his grandfather’s Coxons Foundry also took pride of place, with one of the ends from the Coxons collections going for $10,000 on Sunday.

Other items of interest sold at the auction were a Southern Cross sign which went for $1500 and a cast iron string holder from the former McLeods General Store in Berrigan for $300.

‘‘It’s nice to know that everything has gone to a home, to someone who will love it as much as dad did.’’

Collectors came from all over for the auction, including Ballarat, Colac, Melbourne, Sydney and Western Australia.