More than $600,000 has been raised from the sale of hundreds of Bob Hawke’s personal belongings, with many fetching record prices.
Not a single item was left unsold at the auction in Sydney on Tuesday night, more than three months after the former prime minister’s death.
The collection of 266 items fetched a total of $671,630 – three times the original estimated value.
“People were passionate about owning a piece of Australian history,” a spokesman for auctioneers Shapiro said on Wednesday.
Tuesday’s auction was held at the Paddington RSL. But all the pieces for sale could have been viewed at the former home of Mr Hawke and his widow, Blanche d’Alpuget, last weekend. It was open to the public for viewing for the cost of $5 for an auction catalogue.
Newcastle man Ryan Papworth forked out $10,000 for a painting of Bob Hawke smoking a cigar. He told the ABC he would hang it in his pool room – and while he had spent more than he planned to, he would cherish the artwork forever.
An array of pieces of Mr Hawke’s cigar paraphernalia sold for up to $8500, while a photo of a cricket ball striking him in the face fetched $3500 – more than 17 times its asking price.
An inscribed silver-footed bowl gifted to the then-prime minister by US Secretary of State Dick Cheney sold for $7500.
The bargain of the night was a 1970-era jug by Danish designer Erik Magnussen, which went for $200.
The most expensive item sold was a Hugh Sawrey painting called The Drover’s Wife, which once hung in Mr Hawke’s office. It sold for $23,000, almost three times the expected selling price.
Other big earners were a pair of Victorian-era frog-adorned silver sweet meat dishes which fetched $22,000, and a miniature Chinese book case which sold for $20,000.
Other items to go under the hammer on Tuesday included the former PM’s whisky flask and golf clubs, Bob Hawke coffee mugs, an Alessi champagne bucket, Versace ashtrays and white leather Paolo Piva sofas.
The money raised at the auction will be returned to Mr Hawke’s estate.
Ms d’Alpuget and Mr Hawke sold their Northbridge home for a reported $15 million in March but remained living there until his death in May.
About the same time, they settled on a $3.63 million apartment in Sydney’s new One30 Hyde Park building. It was bought in Ms d’Alpuget’s name.