Rod Bellars Collection: Largest Historic Militaria Collection in Australia Up for Auction

The Rod Bellars Collection, the largest collection of militaria items from Australia and across the world, including thousands of rare items, is up for an online auction for the first time in public. 

Consisting of militaria pieces curated over 60 years, the Rod Bellars Collection comes from a man who was passionate about preserving the history of World War I and World War II.

Mr Bellars died in 2021 but Mr Lee Hames, the CEO of Lloyds Auctioneers and Valuers, was able to visit him and hear his stories about the war and his collection before he passed on. 

Following his death, Mr Hames said that the collection needed new custodians who will preserve, display, and pass on the stories behind these pieces for future generations.  

Holden Gun Holstered for Export

Some of the pieces for auction are under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986, which are subject to export control outlined in the National Cultural Heritage Control List, Schedule 1, as flagged by the Federal Government.

These items will need a valid permit from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications before they are brought out of the country.

“One of the items that the government specifically flagged was an Australian 2 Pounder Anti-Tank Gun built by General Motors Holden in 1942 in South Australia, where only 892 were manufactured locally and used by Australian Forces during World War II,” said Mr Hames.

Photo Credit: Supplied

“The bid on this piece alone is already over $25,000 so who knows what it could sell for come auction day, it could be set to fetch 6 figures as we are still a couple days out from it going under the hammer.”

“We commend the government for preserving and keeping history within Australia and we really hope that Australian museums and libraries perhaps purchase some of these items to display and preserve these significant pieces of history and honour them with educational purposes for many years to come.”

The Rarest Collection

“We were actually in complete disbelief when we first arrived to inspect the collection as it featured some of the rarest militaria collectables from WWI and WWII that we have ever seen, there is everything from military tanks to firearms, swords, military uniforms, helmets, boots and heavy artillery,” Mr Hames said.

Photo Credit: Lloyds Auctioneers

The Rod Bellars Collection has over 10,000 military pieces, including “one-off” items that could be worth “significant amounts of money,” according to Mr Hames. 

Photo Credit: Lloyds Auctioneers
Photo Credit: Supplied

“We have had enquiry all over Europe and Asia on these items all from passionate collectors and militaria enthusiasts just like Rod was, so we are sure that there will be many custodians that will treasure his collectables just as he did throughout his lifetime.”

“We really hope that museums and libraries and passionate collectors from across the world are successful in securing some of these important pieces of history.”

A total of 14 separate online auctions are now for this collection, with the first set to end on Saturday, 19 February 2022. The collection includes tanks, artillery, swords, firearms, helmets, radios, boots, parachutes, military uniforms and much more.