For sale: Hidden treasures of Sir Joh and Lady Flo
THE rich, historic treasures owned by former Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen and his wife Lady Flo estate are up for auction - and there's massive interest, don't you worry about that.
Staff at Lloyds Auctions on the Gold Coast, who organised to display the family's memorabilia at their Carrara office, are receiving calls from throughout Australia.
"We've actually set up it up like a museum. It's awesome. We've had quite a few people drop by and have a look," a staffer said.
Many items are either gifts or work accessories kept from Sir Joh's 19-year reign as Premier.
The family, in a statement, believed the timing was right. Sir Joh died in April 2005. Lady Flo was 97 when she died in December 2017.
"We have come to the end of the era of Joh and Flo's partnership in which they achieved so much for both Queensland and Australia during their political careers," the family said.
"Therefore as a family we have decided to allow the sale of Dad and Mum's collection which has been in their home at Bethany for many years.
"We are sure those who acquire items from this collection will honour and treasure them as much as our whole family has."
The auction will feature Sir Joh's personal desk and his briefcase which he used daily as Premier, hand-signed campaign posters and his 1982 Jaguar Saloon.
Collectors will be able to perfect Lady Flo's famous pumpkin scone recipe - it is inscribed on a ceramic soup spoon.
Lloyds Auctions chief operations Lee Hames is pleased but not surprised by the response.
"This event is extremely rare, and we feel very privileged to honour and support the Bjelke-Petersen family where they have entrusted us to auction over 800 treasured items each with their own story to tell," he said.
Mr Hames nominates a 1969 hand-signed post moon-landing world tour luncheon schedule as one of the headline pieces.
The signatures include Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and then Prime Minister John Gorton.
The auction features original oil paintings of Sir Joh by Australian artist and Archibald Prize Winner William Dargie and Pro Hart, along with autographed campaign posters.
"The community really have this once-in-a-lifetime chance to become a custodian of a cherished piece of Australian history and share a story that will be remembered forever," Mr Hames said.
Other items that feature in the auction include historical and nautical items, silverware, homewares, glassware, clothing, crockery, art, maps, music and books.
Sir Joh's signed memoir Don't You Worry About That is expected to fetch more than $500, and his desk more than $2100. His leather briefcase is valued at $2100. Bidding online will continue for the next four days.
Originally published as For sale: Hidden treasures of Sir Joh and Lady Flo