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Joanita Wibowo

Lifetime of treasure: Bob Hawke's personal collection to go under the hammer

Former prime minister Bob Hawke’s treasure trove of paintings, art works, designer furniture, diplomatic gifts and serving ware are set to be auctioned off in a home clearance sale expected to raise $250,000.

Hawke’s widow Blanche d’Alpuget is selling 300 items from the couple’s Northbridge home in Sydney's leafy north short – which was recently sold for an estimated $15 million – with the help of auctioneers Shapiro.

Among the items on offer are the former prime minister’s cigar boxes, porcelain tea sets and coffee mugs. The couple’s sterling silver soup ladle will also be put up for sale at an estimated price of $100 to $200.

Some of the former ACTU leader’s diplomatic gifts include Chinese scrolls ($300 to $500), a pill box from the Freedom of the City of London ($300 to $500) and a silver bowl inscribed “Presented by Dick Cheney Secretary of Defence, United States of America” ($500-$700).

There will also be a framed and signed photo of Don Bradman ($800 to $1200) and two black-and-white pictures of Bob Hawke playing tennis ($200 to $300).

Some boozes from Hawke’s collection will also make an appearance, including bottles of Chinese liquors (ranging from $100 to $500), a box of Penfolds cabernet sauvignon ($200 to $300), and a six pack of the Labor veteran’s lager beers in a signature esky ($200 to $300).

The most expensive item to be auctioned is Euan Macleod’s 1991 oil painting titled Lone Figure in Gully, which is expected to sell for $14,000 to $18,000.

The items will be available for public viewing on August 24-25 at the couple’s Northbridge residence with a $5 entry fee, said auctioneer Andrew Shapiro.

“I think people are curious about what was dear to his heart. We will be selling his desk and a lot of personal items given to him when he was prime minister,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro said d’Alpuget is ready to take the next step in her life after selling the house. 

“She’s a strong-willed person and looking towards the next move,” he told The New Daily.

“It’s always difficult to live in a house where you’ve been for many years with a spouse. There’s a new chapter.”

The auction will take place on August 27 at Paddington RSL in Sydney.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the items going under the hammer later this month.