Auction Featuring Australian America’s Cup Heroes

Published on October 17th, 2016

Mossgreen, Australia’s leading art business, announces The America’s Cup Auction featuring The Private Collections of Ben Lexcen and Alan Bond, two of the central figures in Australia’s historic 1983 America’s Cup victory.

Lexcen was the designer of the winning yacht, Australia II and Bond was the high profile businessman and owner.

The auction will take place in Perth on October 23 at The Western Australian Maritime Museum against the dramatic backdrop of the Australia II which has been displayed in the museum since December 2002.

Leading the auction is a magnificent gold model of the yacht Australia II mounted on a sea of amethyst quartz crystals from Alan Bond’s private collection.

After retaining the Cup for a remarkable 132 years, the U.S. were successfully challenged by Bond and his team in 1983 and in a devastating moment for the Americans, the Cup was taken from The New York Yacht Club for the first time since the original race in 1851 and brought ‘down under’, to The Royal Perth Yacht Club.

The Australia II attracted controversy from the moment it was launched with The New York Yacht Club protesting that it was not a legal 12 metre vessel and that Ben Lexcen’s revolutionary ‘winged keel’ design was in fact designed by Dutch engineers. However, the protests were overturned and the Australia II won the race in a spectacular victory which became one of the most celebrated in Australian sporting history.

Then Prime Minister Bob Hawke declared Australia’s victory so significant that it should be marked with a public holiday and joked that any state Premiers who disagreed with him might “find themselves in a spot of bother”.

Other auction highlights include two, separate sets of designer Ben Lexcen’s original plans, drawings and blueprints for Australia II, c. 1976-78 and c. 1980-82 (estimates: $20,000-22,000 and $25,000-30,000).

The auction also features furniture, decorative arts and fine art from Alan Bond’s home including an exquisite French Empire style circular ormolu mounted mahogany centre table with verde antico marble top (estimate: $7,000-10,000) and a painting by Australian contemporary artist McLean Edwards, Munch Money, 2007 (estimate: $12,000-18,000).

Paul Sumner, CEO of Mossgreen, said: “Australia’s 1983 victory in The America’s Cup remains one of the proudest in this country’s sporting history. We are very excited to present the private collections of the two leading figures involved together in what will be a memorable event at The Western Australian Maritime Museum ahead of the 30 year celebrations next year. We expect to see interest from yachting enthusiasts all over the world.”

Other America’s Cup related items include an Australia II Radio Controlled Yacht with the famous keel finlets which made up Lexcen’s ‘winged keel’ (estimate: $5,000-8,000), a superb Australia II scale model built by Costello Ship Model Company of New York from Lexcen’s original plans which stands at 100cm tall (estimate: $4,000-6,000) and an album of 33 coloured photographs detailing Australia’s victorious America’s Cup Challenge, including the design, construction and launch of Australia II (estimate: $600-900).

This auction pays tribute to the momentous victory and the two men at the centre of it and presents an opportunity to acquire original items directly associated with what is one of the finest moments in Australia’s sporting history.

Bidding is possible at the auction, by telephone, and online. Information and the catalogue of both these collections is online:

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