More from down under - Collecting machines in Australia
by Rob Sanders
国厂精品114福利电影Now I haven’t been involved in sewing machine collecting all that long, only about 5 years, but I have certainly heard many collectors around Australia complain at how few machines there are to be found and how expensive, rough or uninteresting the ones that do turn up are. I would have to disagree with this and if I look back over the last 18 months and review what machines either I or other collectors I know have found locally then maybe a few people may change their minds. I will admit that except for a couple, I would not consider any rare, but many of them are not seen every day either.
Perhaps my own best find this year has been the Britannia No.1 Treadle frame. This is the tripod base with the lions head on the top of each leg. It appeared at a local auction bare except for the original wooden top and covered in many layers of white paint. Needless to say, I got pretty excited and it is now home, cleaned up and fitted with a head bought in Germany. This base was a lucky find mostly because it still had the original top, but it is not a one off as I have seen three other incomplete frames as well in the last year.
国厂精品114福利电影German made Wertheim machines are pretty common in Australia, but one machine that is less common was their “Triplex” model, a machine designed to do a lock stitch, a chain stitch, and an embroidery stitch. From what I have researched few of these have survived. However, I found a very complete one and latter bought a much better condition head in Brisbane to complete it. Since then three others have turned up in various locations around the country. I have also seen a number of cast iron frames with the word Triplex across the base instead of the usual brand name. So far, these have eluded me but sooner or latter I will get one allowing me to put together a unique treadle machine.
国厂精品114福利电影Over the last three years, I have put together a display of vintage machines at one of the yearly quilt shows here. This has been a lot of fun, but so far no rare finds. However, a few weeks after the last one a call from a lady put me onto an old “White” she wished to sell. I reluctantly went to look expecting the usual well-worn “White Peerless” hand crank or similar but was pleasantly surprised to find instead a late 1880’s model with a beautiful scenic decal in the middle of the bed, very good dome, parts and even the instruction booklet, again not something you see here every day.
A friend interstate has also done well including a very early Jones CS treadle (serial No.547), a Bradbury No.1 fiddle bed hand crank and seen yet another early Jones, this time a Spool in a fancy drawing room cabinet. Another good find by a friend locally was a Ward Arm & Platform machine. Although not in stunning condition, it was all there and it turned freely. This one was in an antique shop and even though most of what you find in these places is either poor condition, overpriced, or both, this one was neither, so there are still finds out there. Another local antique shop also had a good condition Raymond Household in its original box, however it was over priced, but I heard more recently that a collector here bought it, but at a much more realistic price.
国厂精品114福利电影Now for that rare machine “The find” so far this year would have to go to my friend Lee who has just bought a Jenny Lind from a dealer in Tasmania. The machine had been poorly cared for, and although basically all there, much of the paintwork was missing and many bits were damaged. However, it is well on the way to being cleaned, oiled and straightened and certainly looks much better than when he first got it. There are also quite a few of the original decals still visible on the arm and hand wheel. For a fairly rare machine, at last count I know of four now in Australia and I’m betting there are still others out there.
国厂精品114福利电影So, the next time someone tells me there is nothing of interest to find in Australia, I’ll just smile knowingly and reply “not necessarily”