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News and Opinion

Price hopes cut in half for bargain Arthur Boyd

In a sign of just how far the art market has fallen, an Arthur Boyd painting offered for sale in 2008 for $1.25 million will be auctioned next Monday with expectations of selling for half that amount. Boyd’s The Prodigal Son was painted in 1946-47, a couple of years before the artist rendered another, more famous Prodigal Son scene, on the wall of a house owned by his uncle, novelist Martin Boyd., writes Michaela Boland in The Australian.

A major colonial art essayist exits Sotheby's for Academia writes Terry Ingram
By Terry Ingram on 15-Nov-2014 (Exclusive to the AASD)

Sotheby's Australia Ltd is losing one of its key specialists - the art describer and man responsible for the beguiling text of many of its major lot descriptions in its catalogues.

The specialist must also have been responsible for some of its major consignments.

David Hansen, who is one of the four major staffers pictured at the front of its art catalogues, is going to academia.

Many old favourites were purchased but NGA gifts were down in 2014
By Terry Ingram on 09-Nov-2014 (Exclusive to the AASD)

A determination to buy which is more closely associated with its Whitlam years could be detected in the purchases made at auction by the National Gallery of Australia in the year ended June 30, according to its newly issued 2014 annual report, writes Terry Ingram.

The keenness was especially felt in Australian colonial and Impressionist art where the gallery paid close to $1 million or three times the auction estimate for one painting. Many of acquisitions will be recognised by appearances in the saleroom in which they gave an immediate fillip to the market. Long term private collectors and the trade may regret this as the buys are unlikely ever to return to the market.

Trying to Shatter Ceiling in Online Art Auctions

As art collectors gather in New York this week for the glittering fall auctions, works of art will routinely change hands for tens of millions of dollars, a few for much more, like a Giacometti bronze “Chariot” sculpture that sold for nearly $101 million at Sotheby’s on Tuesday evening.

But in auctions that are exclusively on the web, conducted without the benefit of a live auctioneer or a live audience, prices have not come close to reaching the stratosphere; $1 million is the high bar, rarely reached.

Library wins fight for journal of ship with exotic battle history
By Terry Ingram on 05-Nov-2014 (Exclusive to the AASD)

The National Library of Australia (NLA) had to put up a bit of a fight to acquire the Journal of Captain Foley Charles Prendergast Vereker, R.N. (1850-1900) done on the HMS Myrmidion and offered at Christie's sale of Topographical Pictures at its main rooms in London's King Street on October 30.

The opposition was a little unexpected although the ship itself has had associations with skirmishes. Its name in Greek mythology is associated with hired mercenaries and its captain a man who had been promoted after repelling pirates on earlier voyages.