Auction Records for Australian Women Artists at Davidson Auctions

Numerous hammer prices at multiples of the estimates, auction records for six female artists, and a number of sleepers made for a very exciting auction for both sellers and buyers at Davidson Auctions’ Fine Art sale on Sunday, 21 July 2019.

Robert Davidson, principal of the highly respected and well regarded Sydney boutique auction house, was delighted with the level of interest and results achieved: “I had lots of new of new buyers, in the room, on the phone and online”, he said.

As reported previously on AASD, David Angeloro’s collection of Australian Women Artists created a buzz, and the results are testament to this, with a number of new auction records set for many female artists who were not as well known as they might be. With auction results like these, then clearly more focus is warranted on a great many forgotten women artists of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Christine Asquith Baker is a case in point. Both paintings in Davidson’s sale sold very successfully and way above their estimates. On estimates of $600 -1,000, River Landscape, likely the Yarra (Lot 102) sold for a spectacular hammer price of $15,000, setting a new record price for the artist.

A stand-out of the sale was Ina Gregory’s Four Art Students, Charterisville, c1897 (above): estimated at $4,000-7,000, it sold for almost twice the high estimates for $13,000 hammer, setting a new record price at auction for the artist.

Elaine Coghlan’s mesmerising Self Portrait (Lot 105), also achieved a highest price for the artist, but still a modest $3,000 hp.

Sybil Craig’s beautiful still life Chinese Jar and Black-Berry Leaves, 1934 (Lot 112) with an estimate of $800-1,200, sold for an impressive $5,000 hp, whilst Jessie Laver Evans delightful Little Wanderers (Lot 117 ), estimated at $800-1,500 sold nicely at $2,250 hp.

Another stand-out of the sale was Ina Gregory’s Four Art Students, Charterisville, c1897 (Lot 120): more generously estimated at $4,000-7,000, it sold for $13,000 hp, almost twice the high estimate, also setting a new record price at auction for the artist.

No surprise that Elaine Haxton’s colourful and evocative Boathouse, Pittwater, c1960 (Lot 123), should sell well above expectations of $5,000-8,000 for $10,000 hp.

The much darker but joyful image by Constance L. Jenkins titled The Jade Dog (Lot 129) sold well and mid-range of its estimates of $4,000-7,000 for $5,000 hp, and still setting an artist’s record.

A great result and record price was also achieved for Alice J. Muskett’s serene The Horse Ferry (Sydney Harbour), 1908 (Lot 137). On estimates of $1,500-2,500, strong bidding more than doubled the high estimate, selling for $6,000.

Lilla Reidy’s Autumn Leaves, Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne (Lot 145 ), was offered on very modest expectations of just $700-1,200, but brought buyers into full bloom, selling for the mighty price of $19,000 hp, and yes, another auction record price for a female artist.

Florence Rodway’s Profile Portrait of a Woman in fur-lined Coat (Lot 146) comfortably sold above its high estimate of $2,500 for a hammer price of $3,250, as did Jessie Traill’s Lantern Light (Lot 153), selling for $6,500 hp or close to three times its high estimate of $2,250.

Not to leave the men out completely: an excellent price was achieved for John Ford Paterson’s Esplanade, St. Kilda, 1893 (Lot 188), also from David Angeloro’s collection and estimated at $1,800-3,500. It eventually sold for almost four times the high estimate at $13,000 hp.

Davidsons also produced a number of international “sleepers”, and it certainly paid off for a number of bidders near the end of this sale. French artist Christian Caillard’s Village at Belle-Isle, 1939 (Lot 389A), estimated at $300-500, sold for $2,500, whilst Croatian artist Edo Murtic’s Fugitive House, 1999 (Lot 390), with expectations of $1,200-2,500, escaped to sell for $6,000.

Still in Europe, Dutch artist Hermanus Koekkoek’s Figures on a Shore (Lot 404), carried estimates of $2,000-4,000, but bidding sailed out to sea to $9,500 hp.

Also in Europe, it was a comparable result for George Hyde Pownall’s (British) highly atmospheric (or perhaps polluted given when it was painted) Below Tower Bridge (Lot 411), estimated at $2,000-4,000. The smog lifted as did many hands, selling for a whopping $9,000.

Exclusively reported for Australian Art Sales Digest

Written by

Brigitte Banziger

Hi, my name is Brigitte Banziger and I am an art consultant and manager at Banziger Hulme Fine Art Consultants, Australia's art valuation and art advice experts. We specialise in art valuations for insurance purposes, for family division, deceased estates, superannuation funds and market values, and advise clients regarding purchase and sales of art (art brokerage). Our services are sought by private clients, companies, public galleries and councils alike. Our aim is to provide professional service with friendly, approachable manner.

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