BUYER of a $3500 shearing handpiece at a Wellington clearing sale on Saturday (Oct 26) had travelled 3800 kilometres from Western Australia only to discover, that some original screws had been replaced with brass ones.
However, he told a friend we was not making the 3800km journey to Wellington and not go home without it.
Ardent shearing handpiece collector, Rodney Reid, Crossman, WA, paid the top price ($3500) for one of more than a dozen handpieces, 1908 Union Grace Patent.
A fellow Wellington handpiece collector, Tony Abra, said Mr Reid had a collection of some 250 handpieces, but could never find a Union.
"They are very rare," Mr Abra said. "They rarely come onto the market, so attract attention when they do."
Asked what was so special about the handpiece, Mr Abra said there was nothing, really, except their rarity.
"They were ordinary to use, but are rare."
Another Grace sold at $220 to a Melbourne, Victoria, collector, who told Mr Abra, the tension nut was not genuine, but he would fix that.
"That's all the fun of clearing sales like this, you find what you've been looking for, but you always have to find genuine parts to replace those that have been taken off something else," Mr Abra said.
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Two station engines made $8000 each among the the hundreds of old items belonging to the collection of Wellington local collector and antique engine enthusiast, the late John Brister, which were put to auction by Peter Milling and Company at Wellington showground last Saturday.
Wellington agent, Phillip Morris, said the auction took some five hours to clear all the magnificent items collected by Mr Brister over many decades.
"We had 140 potential buyers register prior to the sale, so the collection was certainly well known and sought after," Mr Morris said.
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Some 70 stationary engines went under the hammer and sold to collectors from near and far with William Brister of Parkes paying $8000 for a Galloway seven horsepower 1919 single cylinder engine Mr Brister bought off an Ed Payne of Gulgong many years prior.
Kym Monkton of Binnaway, also paid $8000 for another stationary engine, a Ronaldson and Tippett six horsepower 1915 "The Australian Oil Engine" originally supplied by Moffat Virtue.
A Rushton Hornsby 193 four horsepower engine sold at $7000 to David Curtis, Young.