“Dumb” thieves steal Singo’s Boyd Artwork

The Australian, 24 November 2020, by David Murray

Thieves have stolen an Arthur Boyd painting worth $120,000 from adman John Singleton’s home on the NSW Central Coast, but art auctioneers say they would have been off taking the TV.

…. David Hulme, an art valuer from Banziger Hulme Fine Art Consultants, said the painting lost its value the moment it was stolen.

“I almost feel like they’ve stolen it by mistake”, Mr Hulme told The Australian. “It won’t have any real value to them – they can’t offload it and it becomes a purely decorative object.

“It’s lost its value because the can’t onsell it. They can just hang it on their wall.” Mr Hulme said the stolen artwork was “very distinctive”, its long and narrow shape unusual for a Boyd painting.

He had never encountered artwork being stolen on demand in Australia, and unfortunately for the thieves, they would “set off red flags everywhere” if they attempted to cash in.

“The market here is very small, it’s not like international art,”, Mr Hulme said. “Everybody knows everybody and as soon as an auction house sees something, they would make inquiries as to its provenance.”…

“The would get quite suspicious quite quickly. I would, as a valuer. We have a nose for this kind of thing, we can sense if there’s something wrong”…..

Deutscher and Hackett fine art auction house sold a much smaller Lovers in a Boat painting two weeks ago.

“It’s a particularly dumb thing to do for someone to steal a painting,  because they’re so well recorded and so difficult to sell”, executive director Damian Hackett said.

“Really, they should have gone for the TV.”