ABCR Auctions: A New Chapter For The Australian Bottles And Collectibles Review

Exploring ABCR Auctions: A New Chapter for The Australian Bottles and Collectibles Review takes readers on an in-depth journey through the rich and vibrant history of one of the most cherished Australian collector’s magazines. Over 45 years and approximately 275 editions, the esteemed publication, originally known as “The Bottle Collector’s Review,” has metamorphosed and evolved under the stewardship of different artistic visions, changing times, and technological advances. From its humble, hand-made beginnings, courtesy of Don & Melva Smart in the 1970s, to its present glossy incarnation as the content-rich and colorfully detailed Australian Bottle & Collectables Review, the magazine has been a knowledge power-house and trusted companion for countless bottle enthusiasts and collectors.

The article offers a view of this riveting narrative and culminates in the magazine’s exciting transition to its new home at ABCR Auctions, heralding a novel chapter in its sprawling legacy.

Table of Contents

Origins of the Australian Collectibles Review

The journey of the Australian Collectibles Review dates back to 1970 when Don and Melva Smart decided to establish a platform for bottle collectors. Their brainchild was a fifteen-page volume affectionately named, ‘The Bottle Collector’s Review’.

The first edition in 1970 by Don & Melva Smart

This inaugural edition was an endearing handmade publication featuring information about bottle clubs, the age of different bottles, tops and stoppers, Avons, ginger beers, and even a section dedicated to classifieds. Its rarity and content make it a treasured item among collectors even today.

The evolution of the review format and content over the years

The review format experienced a quick transformation, expanding its pages and growing into a B5 size publication with 2-colour covers. The content became more structured, offering the readers an in-depth look through an editorial section, letters column, information on newly released books on the subject, historical articles, a readers’ query section, digging stories, simple price guides, club news, show reports, and classifieds. All of these diverse contents were gracefully organized without the help of any computers, a testament to the dedication and effort of the creators.

Price comparison between the early 70s and present day

A look at the prices during the review’s initial years offers a fascinating perspective. For instance, an $80 black horse ale could be bought for the same price as a Shamrock beer plus an additional $5.

Transition to ‘The National Bottle Review’

By February 1974, the review underwent another transformation, reinventing itself as ‘The National Bottle Review’. The name might have changed, but the consistently engaging content and appearance remained.

Change in name and consistency in content

Apart from the change of name, the review held its ground, maintaining the same format and content that had helped it build a dedicated reader base.

The Role of David Westcott in 1975

David Westcott emerged as a catalyst in 1975 when he took over the review. His background in running a printing business brought significant improvements to the quality of the magazine.

Transformation under David Westcott

With Westcott at the helm, the review was revamped. The quality of the print increased exponentially, and the name was changed to the ‘Australian Bottle Review’. New changes were introduced under Westcott’s leadership, including a format upgrade to almost A4 in early 1979.

Improvement in quality due to Westcott’s printing business

Westcott’s involvement in the printing business was a boon for the review. His expertise allowed the publication to be produced on high-quality paper with exceptional photograph reproductions.

Change in name to ‘Australian Bottle Review’

Another name makeover saw ‘The National Bottle Review’ transform into the ‘Australian Bottle Review’, reflecting the publication’s commitment to a particular niche of collectible enthusiasts.

Introduction of an A4 format

The publication embraced a more generous A4 size format in 1979, giving it a cleaner layout and more space for content, increasing the overall reading experience.

Continued Development in the 1980s

Moving into the 1980s, the review continued to evolve. 1982 saw full-colour front covers and an increased amount of content. The name changed once more to ‘Australian Antique Bottle Collector’.

Introduction of full-colour front covers

Full-colour front covers were introduced in 1982, giving the review a vibrant and appealing look that matched the rich history and content in the pages within.

Increase in content volume

The content volume saw an increase, with the pages per edition rising to around 40. This meant a more comprehensive read for collectors and enthusiasts who subscribed to the review.

Name change to ‘Australian Antique Bottle Collector’

The publication once again changed its name, this time to ‘Australian Antique Bottle Collector.’ This name reflected the content and the passion for antique bottles that it aimed to feed.

Recent Changes and Current Status

The review underwent further changes in editorial leadership, with Ken Arnold taking the baton from Westcott in 1986. In the late 1990s, the Dunn family took over, with Travis Dunn currently at the editorial helm.

Ken Arnold’s editorship post Westcott

Post Westcott, Ken Arnold carried the editorial responsibilities of the review for several years. His guidance marked yet another chapter in the review’s storied history.

The handover to the Dunn family

The Dunn family took over the review in the late 1990s, carrying on its legacy and commitment to the collector community.

Current editor Travis Dunn’s approach

Travis Dunn, as the current editor and producer, continues to curate relevant and informative content for the magazine, thereby maintaining its position as a trusted source for collectors.

Overview of Magazine Publication and Distribution

Published four times a year, the review is produced locally in Victoria.

Bi-monthly release schedule

The review releases new editions in February, May, August, and November, ensuring a regular flow of updated information for its readers.

Local printing in Victoria

The review is printed locally in Victoria on high-quality gloss paper, keeping production close to its roots and ensuring quality.

Magazine length and quality

Typically, the magazine runs about 30-40 pages long, boasting front and back covers in colour along with a coloured centrefold section.

Content Details of the Magazine

Each edition of the magazine features certain standard segments, catering to a variety of readers’ interests.

Standard segments in every issue

These include an Editorial section, Event Calendar, Club Directory, Letters to the Editor, Show Reports, Latest Finds, Digging News, and “Broken” sections.

Addition of a coloured centrefold section

A coloured centrefold section has been introduced in the magazine’s recent editions, adding vibrancy to the publication.

eBay News, Auction News, and other features

The review stays relevant by including sections like eBay News and Auction News in its content, providing collectors with a comprehensive and updated view of the antique bottle world.

Introducing ABCR Auctions

ABCR Auctions is a major initiative by Australian Bottles and Collectibles Review, delivering on its aim of fostering a vibrant community for bottle collectors.

The role and purpose of ABCR Auctions

ABCR Auctions serves as an additional platform to the review, expanding its scope and reach in the collectors’ market and providing a valuable service by organising auctions.

How ABCR Auctions expands on the work of the Review

ABCR Auctions curates a range of collectibles and encourages their buying and selling, thereby complementing the work of the review in promoting collectible culture.

Implications of ABCR Auctions for Collectors

The coming of ACRB Auctions shines a new light on the collectibles market, from potential benefits to challenges it might face in the future.

Potential benefits for bottle collectors

For bottle collectors, ABCR Auctions offers a curated platform to explore a range of collectibles, making the buying and selling process more streamlined and convenient.

How ABCR Auctions could change the collectibles market

By creating a specialist auction platform for collectibles, ABCR Auctions has the potential to reshape the market, make it more accessible for collectors, and encourage more individuals to channel their passion for antique bottles.

Future Projections for ABCR Auctions and the Australian Bottles and Collectibles Review

As the landscape of collecting evolves, ABCR Auctions and the Australian Bottles and Collectibles Review will continue to adapt and innovate their offerings to meet the changing needs of collecting enthusiasts.

Predictions for future changes and improvements

Potential future improvements reside in both refining the auction process and expanding the range of collectibles available. This would ensure that ABCR Auctions stays relevant and useful for collectors.

Potential challenges facing ABCR Auctions and the Review

Potential challenges include maintaining and growing their base of auction participants and readers, keeping up with changing collector preferences, and navigating the complexities of managing both a review and auction simultaneously. Yet, given the strong history and commitment of the Australian Bottles and Collectibles Review and ABCR Auctions, it is clear that they are capable of evolving and prospering in the face of such challenges.