Founded by the late Theodore Bruce in Adelaide in 1878, Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers is Australia’s oldest family run auction house. We’ve helped people buy and sell at auction for almost 150 years – and today we’re Chaired by James Bruce, the great grandson of our founder.
Our Directors – James Badgery & Sally Hardy – have decades of experience in leading auction houses and follow a long family tradition. Their great grandfather was an Auctioneer & Partner with the Sydney firm, Pitt, Son and Badgery. Their grandfather ran a stock auctioning firm in the NSW Southern Highlands. Their father, Henry Badgery, was a respected former Managing Director of James R Lawson Auctioneers.
Our skilled team is passionate about fine art, antiques, books & collectables. With over 200 years of collective experience, we proudly provide first class auction house services.
“Excellent Auction House. Great Quality. Very professional and courteous staff.”
Review by Halbert S on 5 March 2023
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.
About Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
A Long History
Theodore Bruce Auctioneers began trading in Adelaide in 1878 – just 90 years after the arrival of The First Fleet. We opened our Sydney auction house in 2010.
Expertise & Passion
Our longevity is just part of our success. With our experience, industry knowledge and passion for fine art, antiques and collectables, we can help you buy or sell at auction with confidence.
Many of our clients have been buying and selling with us for more than 50 years. We enjoy building quality customer relationships – with transparent & trusted auction house services.
Fourth Generation Auction Specialists
Directors James Badgery & Sally Hardy are fourth generation auction specialists.
Their grandfather, Henry Septimus Badgery, was a successful pastoralist and stock dealer when he became a licenced auctioneer in 1864. He was a partner with the stock agency firm, Brunker and Wolfe (later Brunker, Wolfe & Badgery), before joining his father-in-law and brother-in-law in the wool & livestock auctioneering firm, Pitt Son & Badgery.
A member of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW from 1868, Henry conducted the first sale of cattle at Homebush. He was widely considered one of the greatest stock auctioneers of his time.
Henry’s son, Bevan Augustus Badgery, followed after his father, directing a stock auctioneering and station agency at Moss Vale in the NSW Southern Highlands. His son, Bevan Henry (known as Henry) worked with his father for many years, before joining James R Lawson Auctioneers in the 1970’s as joint Managing Director and Board Member.
Both James Badgery and Sally Hardy continue the family tradition, each with close to 40 years’ experience in Australian and international auction houses.
The History Behind the Name
Established by our namesake in 1878, Theodore Bruce Auctioneers and Valuers is a trusted fourth generation auction house.
Born in Leeds in 1847, the original Theodore Bruce emigrated to Australia with his family in 1852. He studied at St Peter’s College in Adelaide, began his career on cattle and sheep stations, and returned to Adelaide to join the National Bank of Adelaide.
In 1878, Theodore set up an auctioneering business in partnership with George Aldridge, the Chairman of the Adelaide Stock Exchange. He opened his first auction rooms in the Old Exchange in Pirie Street in 1889.
Theodore was elected Mayor of the Unley Council in 1898 – whilst also a Councillor in the Adelaide Corporation. He was appointed Mayor of the Queen City of the South in 1904.
Introducing our Chair
Frederick Theodore Bruce (1882-1961) son of Theodore Bruce, joined the family firm in 1911 on the death of his father. He served until 1961, when he was succeeded by his eldest son, Ian Bruce (1933-current).
Today Ian’s son, James Bruce, proudly carries on the family tradition. After 28 years as Managing Director, James now serves as Chairman of the Board.
At Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers, we provide high quality auction house services. Our team includes specialists in fine art, books, Asian & European decorative arts, jewellery, silverware & tribal arts – plus rare books and fine art valuers, registered under the Commonwealth Governments Cultural Gift Program.
We offer regular auctions in all collecting areas.