Hugh Tindall with auctioneer Stuart Bond holding a fence dropper maker, which sold for $350.
Hugh Tindall with auctioneer Stuart Bond holding a fence dropper maker, which sold for $350.

Under the hammer with bells on

AUCTIONEER Stuart Bond reckons the only thing more extreme than Saturday’s heat was bidding interest in 270 bells offered for sale by local collector Hugh Tindall.

Mr Bond said the bell collection, gathered over more than 50 years, sold to buyers from North West Queensland to southern Victoria.

A Warwick resident paid the top price of $2250 for an eight-inch Condamine bell made by esteemed bell maker Samuel William Jones, while businessman Ross Fraser forked out $800 to take home the former St Catherine’s school bell.

“It was really good to see a lot of the prominent bells stay in our region,” Mr Bond said.

But the McDougall’s bell, which had lured locals to the saleyards from 1860 until the 1960s, was bought by a Sydney-based collector for $1650.

Mr Bond said the big sellers at the weekend sale were the Jones’ bells which went for between $600 and $1000, while the sought-after Ormond bells made between $200 and $500.

A bell handmade by the late RM Williams sold for $410.

“Everything sold and we had a lot of local bidders, which was great,” Mr Bond said.

“One Warwick buyer took home 48 bells, so there was definitely significant interest.

“This was one of the largest collections of bells in Australia.”

He said buyers came from as far north as Longreach and south to Melbourne and Adelaide.

“I think it will be a very long time before we ever see a collection like this on offer in one place again,” Mr Bond said.

Mr Tindall offered the collection as part of plans to downsize from his Warwick rural property to a city retirement unit.


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