Acknowledgement of Country

Theodore Bruce acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge this land on which we stand is Aboriginal land always was, always will be.


We are…

We are Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers and we offer you a very warm welcome. We have been Auctioneers & Valuers since 1878, Australia’s oldest Family run Auction House. Our team today is one of the most experienced in the auction industry with over 200 years of collective experience to help you in your auction journey.


History of the early days of Auctioneering in Australia

A photograph of Exchange Wool Sale Rooms, circa 1900 | Theodore Bruce history

Exchange Wool Sale Rooms - Circa 1900

Australia was formally colonised in 1776, in 1850 the first regular wool auctions were set up in Melbourne and in 1878 Theodore Bruce Auctioneers began trading in Adelaide. Founded over 140 years ago, it is not just our longevity that is a testament to our success. It is our experience in all facets of the business which gives you confidence to buy or sell with Theodore Bruce.

You can learn more about Theodore Bruce – our namesake – at the bottom of this page.


Combining experience with passion

We have lost count of the number of interesting items we have sold across the passage of time and 1000s of auctions.

It is people who are at the heart of our business and we can metaphorically hold hands across the years to join us to the man that started it all so many years ago. There is a passion that comes with the auction business and whilst we take it very seriously we also try to do it with good grace and good humour. Learn about our team of dedicated professionals.


Mastering technology

Gone are the days when you had to stand in a dusty shed for hours to grab that bargain or buy that dream, modern technology now allows you to bid before and during the auction via our website & through our partner Invaluable.

Live bidding is effortless, it carries a small fee of 5%, however, the convenience versus the cost of your time means that online and absentee bidding services become an invaluable bidding option of choice.

It doesn’t matter if you live around the corner or on the other side of the world, all online bidders are equal,  our customer base is represented by 65 different countries worldwide.

Theodore Bruce is also able to facilitate shipping anywhere in the world.

Learn about Bidding and Shipping.


Customer focussed

Many of our clients have been buying and selling with us for more than 50 years, we are a family company & work hard to make the buying and selling experience like dealing with family.

Connecting with clients & making your visit enjoyable and rewarding, is part of the auction experience. We are always pleased to see you, whether you are consigning items to auction, viewing before a sale, bidding on the day or picking up your purchases in the days that follow.

A black and white photograph of well dressed people at auction | Theodore Bruce history

High days and holidays

The history behind the name

Formed by the late Theodore Bruce in Adelaide in 1878, today Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers is a world-renowned fourth generation family auction house.

The Original Theodore Bruce, born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in 1847, immigrated to Australia with his parents in 1852. He attended school at St Peter’s College, Adelaide, before heading to the bush to work on cattle and sheep stations. However, the world of commerce beckoned, and Theodore returned to Adelaide to work in the National Bank of Adelaide.

A black and white photograph of Theodore Bruce Auctioneers original sale rooms | Theodore Bruce history

The Original Premises

In 1878 Theodore Bruce set up an auctioneering business in partnership

with George Aldridge, for many years the Chairman of the Adelaide Stock Exchange. In 1889, he opened offices in the Old Exchange, Pirie Street, and became a member of the Stock Exchange of Adelaide.

Theodore Bruce was elected Mayor of the Unley Council in 1898 – at the same time occupying the unique position of being a Councillor in the Adelaide Corporation. He was also elected Mayor of the Queen City of the South in 1904.

Frederick Theodore Bruce (1882-1961) son of Theodore Bruce, joined the family firm in 1911 on the death of his father and was succeeded in the company in 1961 on his death by his eldest son Ian Bruce (1933-current). Today James Bruce is a successful businessman in his own right and proudly carries on the auction tradition.

Today, Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers offers regular fine arts, collectables and antique auctions. Please see our departments and keep an eye on upcoming auctions.


A black and white photograph of people bidding at an early Australian auction | Theodore Bruce history

Spirited bidding