Roger Bond The Marathon Man

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 6th July, 2013

The movie The Marathon Man could well have starred the late Roger Bond for he loved to run marathons. Even when he suffered a heart attack not long after he completed one in his late 60s and had to undergo open-heart surgery, he couldn’t wait to get back to competition.

Earlier this year at age 70, Roger Bond’s big heart finally gave up and he died of a heart attack at home sitting in his favourite chair.

His love of marathons (at which he had more than his fair share of success) was matched by his enthusiasm for early 20th century Rover cars and Chinese porcelain.

He collected for more than 40 years, adopting a methodical approach to both the porcelain and the cars. A member of the both the Rover Car Club of Australia and the Veteran Vehicle Club he accumulated a vast array of Rover parts (engines, gearboxes, differentials, headlights) plus a 1921 Rover 8 and a 1924 Rover 9 (in pieces) – both of which he always planned to fully restore.

All the porcelain, Rover 8, Rover 9 and Rover parts will be auctioned from 11am Sunday July 7 by E.J. Ainger at 433 Bridge Road, Richmond.

Along with the parts, collected over the years from a large number of farm sheds and swap meets, there are a large number of veteran and vintage vehicle books, records, manuals and blueprints.

Roger’s research was extensive (he possessed some 200 reference books on Chinese porcelain) and he would travel throughout Australia and overseas to document his passion, often jotting down every small piece of information on a scrap of paper to add to his records.

He sometimes used his wealth of knowledge to draw attention to inconsistencies in various publications and was never shy of writing letters to editors informing them of their mistakes.

Roger would regularly visit various auction houses hoping to pick up bargain pieces of porcelain that may have been catalogued incorrectly because his knowledge meant he could quickly distinguish whether an item was from a different period or by a superior maker than otherwise indicated.

The auction also contains antique and collectible items from the late Valerie Howell, who often frequented Aingers on her way home from her Abbotsford business.

Valerie was particularly interested in Royal Worcester and Royal Doulton and at one Young’s auction unwittingly engaged in a bidding war with her husband for a matchstick cathedral piece – which she ended up winning.


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