Born in Geelong in 1938, John began collecting at a very young age, finding his first pieces on the neighbourhood tip! His Grandmother took him to his first auction at age 7, and he was buying and selling “old things” by his mid teens. A local elderly antiques dealer took a shine to John, and soon he had half the premises for his own stock, before purchasing the entire business. At the age of 20, he had his first of many shops, all in central Geelong, culminating in Moorabool Antiques, now continued by his son Paul.
A close association with Leonard Joel began with trips to Melbourne with his Grandmother, the destination being the original Leonard Joel auction rooms in Little Collins Street. He was soon addicted, and from Leonard Joel’s move to Inkerman Street, St Kilda, to the current premises in South Yarra, John was a weekly presence in the auction room and became good friends with the staff.
When his health began to fail, and the road to Melbourne too congested, he regularly browsed the online catalogue – learning how to use a computer solely for this purpose. He certainly missed the atmosphere of live auctions, and the innumerable friendships formed from being together in a room with so many people sharing the same interests, he called Leonard Joel his “social club in Melbourne!”
The Leonard Joel team would like to pass our condolences to the Rosenberg family. John will be deeply missed by our staff and community.