Extremely Rare £3 Reserved Ticket to the 1908 'Burns-Johnson' World Title Fight - No. A184

Lot.110: Reserved Ticket 1908

Burns Johnson World Title Fight


Lot.49: Russian Cloisonne Vessel

Antique Silver dated 1885

Russia. 19th Century Religious Icon showing Christ carrying the Cross

Lot.74: Religious Icon 19th Century

Christ carrying Cross



Welcome to Smalls Auction No.37

Our last sale of 2018.

2018 was an epic year marked by the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the ‘Armistice’ agreement that supposedly signalled an end of the ‘war to end all wars.’ Sadly, just 20 years later the major combatants would line up again for a second round with even greater devastation. We have included in our sale forty original silver gelatin photographs that capture the dying days of World War I that were taken by Australian War photographers stationed at the ‘Front’ to record Australia’s involvement.

This sale also includes an impressive bound presentation album of the ‘Photographs (of) New South Wales’ produced around 1900. This heavy tome includes two spectacular fold-out panoramas of Sydney each measuring 295cms and dating from the 1890s. A Norman Lindsay bookplate on the inside front cover identifies it as once being the property of the famous promoter Hugh D. Macintosh who staged the Burns-Johnson World Heavyweight Boxing match held in Sydney, 26th December 1908.

The Burns v Johnson World Heavyweight fight is arguably the greatest sporting event ever held in Australia and this month we offer a museum quality collection of associated sporting memorabilia. Particularly important is a unique letter written by Tommy Burns in 1953 reflecting on the gravity of the fight, as well as a very rare ‘£3 Reserved Ticket’ one of only a handful that have survived and, signed photos of Burns and Johnson. This signature of Johnson on a promotional postcard from 1907-8 is particularly rare and is possibly the earliest offered for sale.

An unauthorised account of ‘Captain Cook’s Second Voyage’ of Discovery titled “A Voyage Round the World in the Years MDCCLXXII, LXXIII, LXXIV, LXXV (W Lane, London, 1781) is one of the rarest published books associated with early exploration and is a highlight of the sale. Also in the sale is a signed letter by Sir Joseph Banks dated 1801. Banks was a naturalist who accompanied Cook on his ‘First Voyage’ and was instrumental in the establishment of a British Penal Colony in New South Wales. The letter on a botanical theme and with a mention of New S(outh) Wales is historically important because of the subject matter and represents top-tier Australiana.

To satisfy collectors of Australian Colonial banknotes we have on offer a Thomas Stace 1826 Three-pence Promissory Note. This note is new to the market and is one of the best of the 15 known examples of this denomination. The Great Britain 1805 ‘Newland’ ‘£1, which was found in Australia, was likely used in a local transaction as the date July 12, 1841 in penned in ink on the back. It ranks as a great banknote rarity.

For collectors of Australian Indigenous Art, we have on offer three bark paintings from 1960s Arnhem Land with their original tags still intact. Two of the artists, Charlie Gunbuna & Jack Meritja are regarded highly and are represented in the ‘Old Master Barks Collection of the National Museum of Australia.’

As usual the sale also offers a cameo selection of high-grade and rare Australian and World coins and banknotes and a selection of fine jewellery.
We are sure you will find something to satisfy your collecting bent.

All the best for the festive season.

Smalls Auctions


Smalls Auctions is located at 452 Oxford Street, Paddington, a short 10 minute journey from the Sydney CBD.

Visitors using public transport from the city can take buses 380 or 333 departing from Elizabeth Street, the M40 Express Bus leaving from Park Street, or the 440 service from Eddy Avenue at Central Station (all traveling east in the direction of Bondi). Each of these services will take you to within 100 metres of our front door.

If you are travelling by car, there is metered street parking available. Alternatively, Centennial Park situated only 200 metres from our premises provides free all day parking.