This time last year, in 2019, according to Australian Art Sales Digest, $71 million dollars worth of art were sold at auction in Australia. To date, it is $43 million.
However, in something of a stupendous comeback from the difficulties of lockdowns and amidst great success in auction sales, the high estimates of the offerings among the last fine art auctions of the year add up to another $46 million dollars in art to be sold before the end of 2020.
Whilst there has been a dearth of million dollar plus paintings sales, there are two paintings with record potential appearing in the next two weeks. One is Deutscher + Hackett’s Russell Drysdale “Going to the Pictures” on 11 November with expectations of $2.5 million to $3.5 million.
The other is a Brett Whiteley, offered with Menzies in stand-alone auction on 26 November, a week after their regular summer sale of 162 lots on 19 November.
The highest sale price for a painting sold at auction in Australia is currently held by Sidney Nolan’s “First Class Marksman” sold by Menzies for $5.4 million in 2010. Understandably, “Henri’s Armchair” is causing much excitement with its $5 million to $7 million estimates and speculation of a new highest ever auction result achieved on our shores.
Meanwhile, there is an exceptional and varied art offering in the last of the major auctions with Menzies’ final sale of the year scheduled on 19 November in Sydney, and at every price point.
This includes Tom Roberts’ important oil on panel of Milson’s Point from 1888 estimated at $500,000-700,000 and traditional works by Will Ashton, Penleigh Boyd, Rupert Bunny, Arthur Streeton, Bessie Davidson and Janet Cumbrae-Stewart, and a good selection of mid to late 20th century works by Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, John Olsen, Brett Whiteley, Jeffrey Smart and Emily Kngwarreye.
Contemporaries include a great choice, among them a number of Noel McKenna’s quirky works in various media, Ben Quilty, Michael Zavros, Anne Zahalka and Guan Wei.
You can view all artworks in Melbourne from 5 to 8 November at the Menzies Gallery in 1 Darling Street, South Yarra.
In Sydney, you can view the offering from 12 to 18 November at the Menzies premises at 12 Todman Avenue, Kensington.
The auction takes place on 19 November 2020, 6.30 pm at 12 Todman Avenue.
For astute pre-purchase advice and in-depth due diligence reports for any lots in the last of the major 2020 auctions, contact us on 0466 313 095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be delighted to assist you also in securing that special artwork on the night with experienced bidding.
Dave’s Faves for the Menzies auction on 19 November are: