Art

Menzies Auction 19 November 2020

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...
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Smith and Singer Auction 18 November 2020

It has been an extraordinary year for the art market. Commercial art galleries have reported very good sales and even sell-out exhibitions. The auction room has been equally blessed by very strong results. This has culminated in perhaps the best end-of-year art sales in many years. Confidence in the market from both buyers and sellers is very strong. Smith & Singer’s Sydney auction is offering...
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Dave’s Faves Deutscher + Hackett 11 November 2020

The catalogue for the highly anticipated Deutscher + Hackett auction of Australian and International Fine Art titled “Twenty Classics of Australian Art” has created a lot of excitement for many art aficionados, including ourselves. We can’t wait to view the collection in person, and “Dave” had a lot of fun picking his favourite works from this auction. Pre-publicity for the sale on 11 November 2020...
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Dave’s Faves Sneak Preview Summer Auctions 2020

Art sales at auction have been extremely successful in the last several months, defying predictions. The fine art sales of Deutscher + Hackett in July, and in September at Smith & Singer, Shapiro’s, Leonard Joel and Davidson Auctions all reported total sales values of well over 100%, eclipsing their pre-sale high estimates. So we are looking forward with great interest to the summer auction round,...
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Double No Trouble at Smith & Singer

A few years ago, 30 people at a major fine art auction, like at the Smith and Singer sale on Wednesday evening, September 2, would have looked like a looming disaster. However, stand-in auctioneer, Stuart Davies, chief auctioneer of Sotheby’s International Realty, assured the audience that they were prepared for a large number of phone and internet bidders – which has become the new norm...
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Dave’s Faves for the Smith & Singer Art Auction on 2 Sept 2020

In the first auction of spring 2020, Smith & Singer (formerly trading as Sotheby’s) offer 55 lots in their 2 September sale held live in Sydney. It may look like a small sale by number of lots, however the pre-sale estimates of $4,219 million to $5,781 million tell the true story: most lots are packing a punch price-wise. The cover lot is setting the tone:...
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Dave’s Faves for the Leonard Joel John Schaeffer sale

It was a sad day for the arts in Australia when Sydney art collector and philanthropist John Schaeffer passed away at the age of 79 just a few weeks ago after being hit by a vehicle. This planned sale of almost 500 lots at Leonard Joel spans a wide spectrum: not just art including paintings and sculpture, but also glassware, furniture, carpets and a great...
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Successful Start for Smith & Singer

Of late, there has been much discussion about the success of online art sales at lower levels of the market. However, we have been holding our breath for the most important test, at the top end of the Australian art market. Would that confidence extend to the highest echelon of art buyers prepared to spend several hundred thousands of dollars? The first major art sale...
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Dave’s Faves Deutscher + Hackett 15 July 2020

The first very major auction season is well and truly upon us, with many of Australia’s most enthusiastic and discerning art collectors having to wait some considerable time for the main event. A big part of this is the Deutscher + Hackett auction on 15 July in Melbourne. A healthy 129 lots include some of the most significant paintings by their respective artists to come...
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Dave’s Faves Menzies 9 July 2020

Menzies Auctioneers will hold their fine art sale on 9 July 2020 in Sydney, their first live auction after the suspension of public gatherings. Personal viewing is available as is usual both in Melbourne and Sydney prior to the auction: in Melbourne from 24 to 28 June at 1 Darling Street, South Yarra in Sydney from 2 to 8 July at 12 Todman Avenue, Kensington....
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Dave’s Faves for the Smith & Singer auction on 24 June 2020

Geoffrey Smith and Gary Singer have produced their first sale of Australian and International Fine Art under their own names after their departure from Sotheby’s. Geoffrey Smith has made it very clear that they are only interested in pursuing sales of the most valuable artworks that they can find, and their upcoming auction is a prime example of this philosophy. Just 59 lots are being...
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Leonard Joel smashes it with groundbreaking sale of contemporary Australian art

Even though room audiences in major art auctions have shrunk over the last few years, no auctioneer would have been quite prepared for zero attendees for a major sale of fine art. Recently introduced rules on property inspections and art viewings as well as auctions to restrict gatherings of people meant that Leonard Joel managing director and auctioneer John Albrecht faced just that: a space...
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First major Covid-19 induced online-only auctions achieve good results

While the coronavirus lockdown removed live auction bidding, many of the Australia and New Zealand auction houses have continued sales with online-only auctions, while others have closed their doors until the crisis passes. Prior to the lockdown, there were three possible auction formats: live only, both live and online and online-only, with the latter being the only option available in Australia and New Zealand at...
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Dave’s Faves for the Leonard Joel Auction on 5 May 2020

For their 100 year anniversary, Leonard Joel Auctions in Melbourne have put together a celebratory auction titled “Centum” (Latin for “hundred”) with 100 works by 100 living Australian artists. They range from masters like John Olsen and Tim Storrier to mid-career artists such as Euan MacLeod and Peter Booth, to younger artists including art market darlings Ben Quilty, Dale Frank and Del Kathryn Barton, as...
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Dave’s Faves for Deutscher + Hackett Auction 27 Nov. 2019

The last auction for the year at Deutscher + Hackett on 27 November features two collections which couldn’t be more different, and wonderfully demonstrate D+H’s brilliant range in their offering. Lots 24 to 34 contains works from the Mainland Collection of Contemporary Asia Pacific Art; it was assembled with the idea of “The art of humanity: a cultural march through complex landscapes”, with works by...
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Sotheby’s Fine Art Auction 20 November 2019

Sotheby’s present 79 lots in their spring 2019 auction, with some truly outstanding offerings. We are particularly captivated by lot 26, “Woman in a Salon”, William Dobell’s portrait of Helena Rubinstein, founder of the eponymous cosmetics empire. What an extraordinary woman and life – and what a striking painting by one of our most incisive portraitists. Dobell created several portraits of this formidable self-made entrepreneur, ...
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Dave’s Faves for Bonhams “Fairwater” auction on 22 September 2019

We all love a good home contents auction, but “Fairwater” in Point Piper is not just any old home, but the ultimate Sydney harbour front mansion on 11,000 m2 of manicured grounds. The largest privately-held property on Sydney harbour was owned by the Fairfax publishing dynasty for over 100 years. This year the family sold it for $100 million, the highest price ever for an...
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Dave’s Faves for the Menzies Auction 26 Sept. 2019

The Menzies Fine Art Auction on 26 September in Sydney promises some very interesting offerings among its 125 lots. There are a number of works on paper by international greats such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol with a Mick Jagger portrait and Banksy (fear not, it won’t be shredded after the hammer comes down). Aboriginal art is represented by Australian masters Albert Namatjira, Emily Kngwarreye...
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Dave’s Faves for the Deutscher + Hackett Auction on 28 August 2019

The Deutscher + Hackett fine art auction on 28 August features very important artworks from two outstanding art collections. These collections span two very different, yet important times in Australian art history: early modernism and contemporary Australian art, and complement each other beautifully in our view. They are also both great examples in how to collect art in a considered fashion. The first 36 lots...
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Dave’s Faves for Sotheby’s Auction on 27 August 2019

Among the 87 lots offered at Sotheby’s sale of Important Australian Art on 27 August, there are several multiple offerings from a number of Australian masters – including not surprisingly Arthur Boyd, Hans Heysen, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Streeton, Norman Lindsay and William Dobell. More surprising perhaps is the appearance of four works by Cressida Campbell. But on reflection, given recent auction results demonstrating her status...
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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:...
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Monumental Painting by Emily Kame Kngwarreye in a First at Art Basel

In a first for Art Basel which concluded on 16 June 2019, paying for a stand at the world’s most prestigious art fair, has become somewhat easier (if you are accepted into the fair by the vetting committee in the first place – 290 this year from 34 different countries). Art Basel director Marc Spiegler announced in his press conference on the opening VIP day...
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Outstanding Auction Record for Ian Fairweather at Deutscher + Hackett

Rarely has the Cell Block Theatre at the National Art School seen so many art industry personalities, insiders and habitués as at the Deutscher + Hackett’s fine art auction on 10 April 2019. Many would have been there to observe how Charles Blackman’s Alice on the Table (lot 9) fared, after the artist’s Sleeping Alice offered just the previous night at Sotheby’s did not awaken....
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Dave’s Faves for the Deutscher + Hackett Auction on 10 April 2019

The first 8 lots of the Deutscher + Hackett sale on 10 April 2019 in Sydney contain four outstanding works by some of the Australian masters of the abstract from the 1960s to the contemporary (Balson, Miller, Audette and Frank), a beautiful selection for the connoisseur of non-figurative art. This serves as the lead-in to the big bang offering of the night: lots 9 to...
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Dave’s Faves for the Sotheby’s Auction on 9 April 2019

Sotheby’s autumn auction in Sydney on 9 April presents 81 lots of outstanding Australian art. This includes two oils by Russell Drysdale, a true rarity by this master of the Australian country town and outback landscape. Another eye catcher will be lot 27 John Olsen’s “Seafood Paella” – however, a very big wall (and pocket) is required, as this late masterpiece from 2007 comes in...
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Dave’s Faves for the Menzies Auction 28 March 2019

The first Menzies auction of 2019 starts with two collections, one from the estate of Gwendoline Mutton and the other from Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer. The collection presented in the middle of the catalogue is a real stand-out in the sale. Titled the Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe Family Collection, lots 56 to 68 are a veritable treasure trove of early colonial works on paper by this...
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Dave’s Faves for the Deutscher + Hackett auction on 28 Nov. 2018

13 ink drawings and watercolours no larger than A4 start off the Deutscher + Hackett sale on 28 November in Melbourne. Their modest size and medium belies their importance: among them are the last pre-settlement portraits of Tasmanian Aboriginal people and extremely early depictions of  Western Australia, created between 1801 and 1804 on the Baudin voyage to Australia by French artists and naturalists Nicolas-Martin Petit...
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Dave’s Faves for the Menzies Auction on 22 November

In their last auction of the year, Menzies present a diverse offering of 125 lots in their summer sale held in their South Yarra premises in Melbourne. The star painting is without a doubt the cover lot: Jeffrey Smart’s “Outside the Ministry” from 1970, and it’s as impressive a Smart as you are ever going to see. If you prefer landscapes to the urban, look...
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Dave’s Faves for the Sotheby’s Auction 20 Nov. 2018

Sotheby’s Sydney auction on 20 November starts with a veritable fanfare from the collection of John Symonds, of Aussie Home Loans fame. Among the 14 artworks are masterpieces by some of Australia’s greatest modern and contemporary artists: Blackman, Boyd (Arthur and David), Brack, Nolan, Olsen and Smart to name a few. This selection was awarded a separate catalogue and contains essays researched by Elizabeth Hastings,...
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Dave’s Faves for the Bonham auction on 14 November 2018

If you love fine art and auctions, November is going to be a very busy month with 4 major art auctions scheduled, before the long break until March/April 2019. It is Bonhams who are launching the summer auction season on 14 November, followed by Sotheby’s on 20 November and Menzies on 22 November, and Deutscher + Hackett the week after on 28 November. We will...
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