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,  illustrated in a separate brochure entirely dedicated to this lot.

Remember the offering at Sotheby’s in August this year of  “The Dead Landlord”, and you can see the breadth of Dobell’s humanity.

Starting the sale off however are two iconic photographs by Carol Jerrems, who captured the 1970s like no other Australian photographer; Jerrems’ life was tragically cut short in 1980 at the age of just 31.

We also like very much the assembly of several outstanding Australian impressionist paintings by Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Rupert Bunny and John Russell.

Howard Arkley is still very much in favour, and present with not one, but two stunning interiors, and both offered at auction for the first time since they were purchased in the early 1990s.

If you have a chance, go and view the paintings in Melbourne or Sydney:

6 – 10 November, 14-16 Collins Street, Melbourne

14 – 20 November, 30 Queen Street, Woollahra

The auction takes place on 20 November, 6.30 pm, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Sydney.

You can also see all artworks online at Sotheby’s website.

We would be delighted to assist you with pre-purchase advice and due diligence reports on any lots to provide you with as much intelligence as possible prior to the auction and represent you on the night with experienced strategic bidding.

Contact us on 02 9977 7764 or [email protected] if you would like to know more how we can assist you.

And Dave’s Faves for Sotheby’s are (some with added links):

Lot 1 – Carol Jerrems, Vale Street, 1975, 20.1 x 30.4 cm, est. $30,000-50,000. Vale Carol Jerrems – her photos however live on

Lot 2 – Juliet Holding Vale Street, 1976, 30.5 x 20 cm, est. $20,000-30,000. Don’t hold back!

Lot 14 – Hans Heysen, Ambleside 1924-25, 21.7 x 40.5 cm, est. $15,000-20,000. The Master of Light

Lot 15 – Arthur Streeton, The Landing Place (Hawkesbury River), 1896, 30.3 x 35.7 cm, est. $35,000-45,000. This could be the day to land your Streeton

Lot 16 – Tom Roberts, She-Oak and Sunlight, 1889, 30.5 x 30 cm, est. $220,000-280,000. “The perfect expression of one time and place” – Tom Roberts, July 1890

Lot 17 – Arthur Streeton, View from Mt Toorong (Study for Australia Felix), 1907, 18.5 x 24.2 cm, est. $40,000-60,000. Plein Air Panorama

Lot 18 – Tom Roberts, The Two Roads to Monbulk, 1924, 44.6 x 58.5 cm, est. $160,000-190,000. I can see the Forest for the Trees

Lot 20 – Arthur Streeton, Garden Green, 1940, 76.3 x 76.3 cm, est. $150,000-200,000. How green is my wheel barrow?

Lot 24 – Jeffrey Smart, Approach to a City III, 1968, 66 x 81 cm, est. $650,000-850,000. We’re on a road to somewhere

Lot 26 – William Dobell, Woman in a Salon (Helena Rubinstein), 1960, 40.5 x 51 cm, est. $400,000-600,000. “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones” – Helena Rubinstein

Lot 33 – Howard Arkley, Neapolitan Delight 1993, 175.2 x 134.7 cm, est. $800,000-1,000,000. Colour eruption

Lot 35 – Howard Arkley, Plain and Fancy, 1993, 173 x 135 cm, est. $600,000-800,000. Fancy that

Lot 41 – William Robinson, Across the Gorge Landscape, 1988, 85.5 x 92.8 cm, est. $60,000-80,000. Gorgeous Gorge

Lot 43 – Fred Williams, Red Landscape, 1966, 86 x 71 cm, est. $100,000-150,000. Now let’s not argue about the colour, please

Lot 45 – Margaret Olley, Melbourne Hotel, South Brisbane, 1948, 63 x 76.5 cm, est. $60,000-80,000. Living it up at the Hotel Melbourne

Lot 48 – Lloyd Rees, City Skyline, 1955, 35.7 x 44.8 cm, est. $30,000-40,000. Spires to inspire

Lot 58 – Herbert Badham, Port Said 1954, 38 x 30.5 cm, est. $10,000-15,000. He said, she said, Port Said

Lot 60 – Weaver Hawkins, Rola 1933, 91.5 x 70.4 cm, est. $35,000-45,000. I’ve been everywhere man, Ballarat, Melbourne, Hamilton, Castlemaine, Geelong, Horsham, Ararat, Mildura, Sale, Warrnambool, Newcastle, Brisbane, Sydney (with apologies to Lucky Starr)

Lot 65 – Brett Whiteley, Spooked by Egypt, 1984, 70 x 50.2 cm, est. $25,000-35,000. The Eyes have it

Lot 69 – Robert Klippel, Untitled, 1992, 92.5 x 122 cm, est. $10,000-15,000. Colour me badd



Sotheby's Fine Art Auction
Sydney, Intercontinental Hotel,
Starting on
November 20, 2019
Ending on
November 20, 2019
79 extraordinary masterworks of Australian art

Written by

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.

Comments are closed.