C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Discussion of any bush poetry topic.
ONLY Registered Forum Members have access to this Forum.
User avatar
Gary Harding
Posts: 376
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld (ex Victorian)
Contact:

C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Gary Harding » Tue May 10, 2016 4:24 pm

I note that the following C.J. Dennis historical document sold for $400 (plus buyers premium) at a long-past auction which to me is quite cheap.
Only one (absentee) bid made.

It sold below auction estimate!

"Description: A seven page typescript of a poem by C J Dennis THE TENTS OF TOOLANGI Being the first canto of the Great Epic poem, " LEAVES IN THE SNOW" or " TO H__L WITH ART" by Den O' The Den . An unknown poem by Dennis. Along with two small original photographs. The first has a pencil note on the rear Sunnyside where Den wrote The Sentimental Bloke. The second photo is a group of five men and two women with C J Dennis in the middle playing a banjo. On the rear a pencil note identifies the people as D Garry Roberts, R H Croll, Harold Herbert, Roberts Jnr, Mrs Roberts, C J Dennis, Miss. The photo is used in The Life and Times of C J Dennis by Chisholm. The 1982 Edition P 61 identifies the unnamed woman as E Easthaugh and Roberts Jnr as Frank Roberts"

I was going to bid on it (not expecting to get it!) but then I was focussed on another more modest lot (which I won).

However to see this go unopposed for a measly $480?! Amazing. Sad too.

But then maybe my idea of price is incorrect??
My expectations are too high perhaps?

I thought the C.J. Dennis Society and its members would be all over this precious item like a rash.... and I was expecting the bidding to be lively and determined as they fought with cheque-book swords against some savvy National library? but.... not a bid. No interest.

Perhaps Stephen you could shed some light on why this Dennis document and photos sold so cheaply (if indeed it did!!!?) with no competitive bidding interest ??

Doesn't anyone love Mr. Dennis anymore?? (I certainly do !! as I just picked up a first edition Ginger Mick for a few dollars)

Who has the documents/photos now? could it be Mr. Whiteside himself? :) The Society being experts on C.J. Dennis, might kindly suggest a Valuation (even a range) for such documents and photos... for the information of ABPA members.

Vic Jefferies
Posts: 1041
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:21 am

Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Vic Jefferies » Tue May 10, 2016 5:51 pm

Amazing news Gary. One of our greatest poets and now apparently almost forgotten. Wonder what the current crop of free versers would make of CJ's work? He of course had his own opinion of their worth!

User avatar
Gary Harding
Posts: 376
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld (ex Victorian)
Contact:

Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Gary Harding » Tue May 10, 2016 6:22 pm

Yeah Vic exactly,
In my wildest dreams I did not imagine that such fabulous CJ Dennis documents would fall to the auctioneer's hammer for that amount of $'s.
I was actually caught off-balance.. never again! (he says).

Hindsight is great of course. Anyone can use it.

Years ago I attended the auction in Melbourne where the original Hal Gye work of the cover of Den's Sentimental Bloke was up for bidding.

$800 was the newspaper estimate and I was in the front row like a normal garage-sale scrounger. Holy Moly.. so cheap!
Yeah right!! A hall full of suckers like myself, all cheap-skates! Telephone bidding started at $1200 and away it went.. so before it was even finished I was off down to the pub. To feel so stupid.
Never gone to an Art Auction since! Crooks!
Nevertheless.... one never knows.!
All great FUN. Cheers.

User avatar
Stephen Whiteside
Posts: 3784
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:07 pm
Contact:

Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Wed May 11, 2016 5:37 pm

Hi there, Gary.

You overestimate the C. J. Dennis Society enormously, I'm afraid. We are a small group, and are not flush with funds. Besides which, attending auctions of historic material just isn't something I do. Of course, if somebody presents us with some Dennis memorabilia we are always interested, but I certainly don't go seeking it, and I don't think any of our other members do, either.

Of course, we love C. J. Dennis. I don't regard myself as an expert, but I am fascinated with the life and times and works of C. J. Dennis. So far as valuations are concerned, I would not hazard a guess.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

User avatar
Shelley
Posts: 1789
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 5:39 pm
Location: Maryborough, Queensland
Contact:

Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Shelley » Wed May 11, 2016 9:55 pm

Well said, Stephen! While I certainly support the preservation of historical material, I'm no expert on its monetary value. I just know that I love Den and his work, and never cease to tire of reading and reciting it! Most of all, I love to see it brought to life in concerts and impromptu performances by fellow devotees like yourself and others! Long may it continue :D

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

User avatar
Stephen Whiteside
Posts: 3784
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:07 pm
Contact:

Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Thu May 12, 2016 6:55 am

Thanks, Shelley. I very much enjoy your performances, too.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

User avatar
Gary Harding
Posts: 376
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:26 pm
Location: Hervey Bay, Qld (ex Victorian)
Contact:

Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Gary Harding » Thu May 12, 2016 6:08 pm

Thanks Stephen.

Well obviously I am completely the opposite to you because I DO go out and very actively seek historic poetic material, including C.J. Dennis.
He is quite an important guy.

As ALL this fabulous material is auctioned online I am mystified by your comment that it is all too hard for you to attend an auction. "Something you do not do" as you say.
Sitting at a console is not that difficult surely?

.. anyway...I believe that it is extremely important to save this stuff because it is Australia's literary heritage in poetry. Real poetry I mean.

Why do I start to get the feeling that I am alone here at ABPA in thinking that?

It is a responsibility ... to capture it and keep it safe. I personally think the Society has some absolute duty to do that.. but I may well be disagreed with there.

I spend time trawling the internet for it.. such is my personal dedication to Bush Poetry.

Then I attempt to restore and preserve it. Not always cheap.

We are custodians of material, not owners and with that comes the responsibility of keeping it in good order and with the humidity and warmth of Qld it aint easy.

If neither yourself nor other members of The C J Dennis Society have any interest at all (as you specifically say!!) in seeking out such historic heritage literary material of Den's then I am both happy and disappointed.

Happy because I can bid on the next historic lot of Dennis that comes up because I can confidently eliminate The C.J. Dennis Society and its Members as interested and competitive bidders, as you suggest!

Disappointed because if there is no interest in such incredibly precious Dennis documents (unless of course someone humbly presents them to you!!) then who on earth really loves Dennis with a passion??? not empty words... but dollars on the table... and not everyone is poor? Who actually... Cares?

Not a Mitchell Library either who are after all simply doing a duty well, and not a heartfelt action.

If such Dennis documents are brushed aside with no genuine interest or real comment, then I have to ask the obvious question.. "What on earth does the C.J. Dennis Society actually do for Clarrie?"

User avatar
Stephen Whiteside
Posts: 3784
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:07 pm
Contact:

Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Thu May 12, 2016 7:44 pm

Hi there again, Gary.

I think you are completely missing the point, to be honest.

Of course these documents are important, but what is far more important are the words he wrote - the poems, the stories and the books. Unfortunately, as I am sure you are aware, most of his writings are little known and appreciated by the public at large.

The C. J. Dennis Society is primarily concerned with celebrating the life and works of C. J. Dennis. Our principal focus is to bring as wide an audience as possible to his writings. We see the best way of doing this as holding an annual festival at his home. There are a number of important historic milestones passing right now, and we are celebrating these as they come.

The festival began in 2008, with the celebration of the centenary of Dennis' arrival in Toolangi.

Last year we celebrated the centenary of the publication of "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke". This year we will be celebrating the centenary of the publication of "The Moods of Ginger Mick".

I must admit, I am surprised you are not already aware of all of this. I would have thought you would be much better informed.

Of course, we are answerable to our members. We hold an AGM every year, where members are encouraged to attend and express their opinions. As things stand at the moment, there is every indication that our members are very happy with the direction and priorities of the Society.

Yes, it is important that documents relating to his life are protected, but the Society has set its sights considerably higher - we wish to celebrate and publicise as widely as possible the words that he wrote.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

Neville Briggs
Posts: 6914
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:08 pm
Location: Here

Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Neville Briggs » Fri May 13, 2016 2:18 am

Excellent point Stephen, reasonable and sensible. The legacy of any artists is surely the body of their work.
Neville
I think therefore I am

Bob Pacey
Moderator
Posts: 7463
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:18 am
Location: Yeppoon

Re: C J Dennis... going cheap? or not?

Post by Bob Pacey » Fri May 13, 2016 7:11 am

You seem to have your finger on the pulse Gary and time to persue these things so how about you buy any such items and donate them to the C. J. Dennis Society.

Bob
The purpose in life is to have fun.
After you grasp that everything else seems insignificant !!!

Locked