Silenced Ventriloquist Speaks After 90 Years

A collection of never-before-seen photographs from significant sporting moments, royals on tour and the Belfast War have been hidden away in a suitcase for 90 years and have surfaced for the first time and will be auctioned at Lloyds Auctions next week.

These images take a step back in time, through the lens of Fred Russel, who captured incredible moments in the world’s history. Thomas Frederic Parnell, later known as Frederick Russel, transitioned from journalism to become a ventriloquist and captivated audiences globally, also capturing these historic photographs.

Cherished in a suitcase within a home in New South Wales for 90 years, these moments in time have been discovered in the estate by the children of their late grandmother featuring over 360 photographs spanned across 4 auctions.

The photos were taken in the late 1800s to the early 1900s and have been held on to by the family for almost a century.

The photos within the collection feature images of royals, professional boxers and sporting moments, British soldiers, and world wars that have remained untouched and unseen for 90 years until their discovery in a suitcase in 2023. 

“These are extremely rare moments in time that have never been seen until now and Lloyds Auctions are proud to bring them to the public, via auction for them to be treasured by the next custodians for years to come,” said Mr. Lee Hames, Chief Operations Officer for Lloyds Auctions.

“We hope that museums or libraries will capture these important photographs of history, to document and preserve for future generations to come,” continued Mr. Hames.

The historic photographs will be going under the hammer in a 4-part series from Tuesday 16th January – Saturday 27th January.

You can view the first auction here or visit for more information.

Matt Kalinski

Head Of Valuations

Qualifications & Affiliations

American Society of Appraisers Candidate Member

Certified Practicing Valuer AVAA


Matt has been in the valuations space for many years and has extensive experience in the space across an abundance of various industries. He now leads the valuations teams for Lloyds Auctions with a passion for encouraging his team to set and achieve high goals and produce great results for the company whilst growing the team’s skills starting with a great culture and team mindset.