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News and Opinion

Forger says it's 'Not a da Vinci, it's Sally from the Co-op'

30 November 2015

A Leonardo da Vinci drawing believed to be worth $230 million is actually a picture of "Sally from the Co-op" in Bolton, one of Britain's most notorious art forgers has claimed. The La Bella Principessa purports to be a portrait of a young woman possibly from the court of Ludovico Sforza, the duke of Milan, in the 1490s. But Shaun Greenhalgh claims he drew the picture in 1978 based on a "bossy" shop assistant he worked with at his local Co-op store in the north west town. He claims he used an old council document dating back more than 400 years as a canvas and specially created pigments to con the art world.

Boots - and heels - on the ground contribute to Sotheby's renewed advance

By Terry Ingram on 25 November 2015 // Exclusive to the AASD

Sotheby's Australia retained its reputation for creating the appearance of very real live auctions in Sydney at its sale of Important Australian Art on 24 November.

The sale, which grossed $8.55 million, with 67 per cent sold by volume and 112 per cent sold by value, was greatly helped by collectors or their agents who came out and bid freely.

Solid results as Mossgreen winds down for 2015

By Marianne Margin on 24 November 2015 // Exclusive to the AASD

Last evening, November 23, 2015, an upbeat Paul Sumner welcomed a modest crowd of bidders to his Armadale rooms, offering 39 lots in Mossgreen Auctions’ final Australian and International Art sale for the year.  Including the $1.3 million realised at last night’s auction, Mossgreen has achieved art sales of around $13 million in 2015.  Their great success of the year was The Peter Elliot Collection in August, which alone accounted for $7 million in sales. This caps off a record year for the Melbourne based auction house.

Stilwell collection sells well as Hobart dips its lids to 'Mr. Provenance'

By Terry Ingram on 24 November 2015 // Exclusive to the AASD

A new respect for provenance was very much in the air as the hammer began to fall on the end of November offerings in Hobart, Sydney and Melbourne last week. The auction of The Collection of Geoffrey Stilwell, a man whom auctioneer Paul Sumner of Mossgreen described as “Tasmania's Mr Provenance” realised $422,364 against a pre-auction estimate of $177,760 with some stellar individual results.

Provenance was also in the air albeit not quite as comfortably at or in preparation for different sales with two lots withdrawn as cataloguers went in search of more of it. In one sale, coincidentally also at Mossgreen,  a contemporary Chinese painting of high profile (it was illustrated as the catalogue cover picture) was pulled out of the offering.

A painting by Girolamo Nerli which held the record for a work by the artist was pulled by Bonhams Australia from its online catalogue of its coming Sydney sale for the same reason.

Big Ticket Paintings Achieve Big Prices At Dunbar Sloane

By Briar Williams in Auckland on 21 November 2015 // Exclusive to the AASD

The final 2015 Dunbar Sloane, Fine Art auction on 18 November in Wellington was an eclectic mix of New Zealand and international artworks and some of the key pieces were sourced from the Wellesley Club, a Wellington institution which ceased operating in 2014 due to declining membership and building repair costs.  Items from this collection were traditional in nature, lots of watercolours and heavy oils, befitting the surrounds of a gentleman’s club.

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Forthcoming Auctions

Adagio, 1967-69
Cecil John (John) Brack, Adagio, 1967-69, 183 x 114.5 cm, to be offered by Menzies Sydney 10/12/2015, Lot No. 41, Est: $600,000-800,000

Completed Auctions

Death of a Husband, 1958
Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd, Death of a Husband, 1958, 91.5 x 122.5 cm, sold by Menzies Melbourne 25/06/2015, Lot No. 41, Price: A$613,636