Ballarat Bitter art for auction

A RARE piece of Ballarat Bitter merchandise dating back to the 1950s will go for auction at Kittelty’s Auction Rooms next weekend.

According to its owner, an avid collector of hotel memorabilia, the oil painting came from the former Munster Arms Hotel on the corner of Victoria Street and Humffray Street North before it was demolished.

Auctioneer Dean Kittelty said it was one of the most unique pieces of Ballarat Bitter merchandise to come through his auction rooms in years.

“The painting was commissioned by Ballarat Brewing Company solely for the purpose of going into hotels that offered Ballarat Bitter. Each one was an original,” he said.

“It’s still in its original frame from the day that it was first hung.

“It wasn’t signed by the artist, but it was signed by the advertising company that had the contract, so it’s signed A & A Henderson.”

Mr Kittelty said the painting’s owner was downsizing his collection and had previously auctioned a rare Sennitts ice-cream polar bear that fetched more than $8000.

“He’s a very, very serious collector, but he’s just slowly selling his collection because he’s got too much and he’s hoping to move into a smaller property,” he said.

“In terms of Ballarat Bitter merchandise this is the pinnacle of what we’ve seen.”

The painting will be sold at auction next Sunday at 10.30am.