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News and Opinion

Santa's great gift to Manly delivered in a police van, is now loved and appreciated

The Manly Art Gallery is finding it owns one of the globally best known paintings, 'Christmas Flowers and Christmas Belles', a 52 by 36 cm oil on canvas borrowed by the National Gallery of Australia for its current Tom Roberts exhibition in Canberra. The painting was one of five paintings stolen in 1976, and then after several years, mysteriously returned then to the gallery.

2015 art market review - grind is the word as market edges upwards

By Terry Ingram on 13 December 2015 // Exclusive to the AASD

The total turnover of the art auction market in Australia ground ahead by a modest 3.2 per cent or $3 million to $109.25 million in 2015 and the ranking of all the major players were unchanged.

This was despite extra exertion by action staff as 567 more lots than in 2014 were catalogued and sold by the major auction houses, publicised in a flood of thicker and often larger catalogues to impress clients.

Sydney will get light rail and the NBN will be rolled out before the market returns to its heady $175.6 million turnover achieved in 2007 at the current rate of increase.

Big Bang for Balcombe at Menzies December Auction

By David Hulme & Brigitte Banziger on 11 December 2015 // Exclusive to the AASD

The surprise star of the last big auction of 2015 was Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe (1810 – 1861), a little-known colonial artist whose work from the 1850s is extremely rare to market. Menzies offered not one or two, but seven of these rarities, two small oil paintings of Aborigines, and 5 mixed media works on paper passed down through the artist’s family.

Heavily contested by several bidders in the room and on the phone, the two oil paintings set new auction records for Balcombe, selling for hammer prices of $70,000 (lot 60) and $80,000 (lot 61) on estimates of $16,000-$24,000 to the Mitchell Library.

The 5 works on paper equally smashed their pre-sale estimates of between $2,000 and $5,000, selling for $13,000 (lot 62), $18,000 (lot 63), $24,000 (lot 64), $36,000 (lot 65) and again $24,000 (lot 66) – not as assumed to another public institution, but to a private collector from Victoria with a passion for mid-19th century Australian art.

Leonard Joel to sell South Australian private collection

By Richard Brewster on 10 December 2015 // Exclusive to the AASD

Several predominantly South Australian rare and collectable modernists comprise the majority of a boutique selection of early 20th century art that goes under the hammer from 2pm Thursday December 10 at Leonard Joel 333 Malvern Road, South Yarra.

Menzies final sale for 2015 lead by modern artists

By Richard Brewster on 10 December 2015 // Exclusive to the AASD

The usual high profile modern artists – led by John Brack’s Adagio 1967-69 (lot 41) with a $600,000-$800,000 estimate – are guaranteed to pull a large auction crowd at Menzies final sale for the year from 6.30pm Thursday December 10 at 12 Todman Avenue, Kensington in Sydney.

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Forthcoming Auctions

Legge’s Tor’ Ben Lomond and the Valley of The South Esk 1879
William Charles Piguenit, Legge’s Tor’ Ben Lomond and the Valley of The South Esk 1879, 65 x 88.5 cm, to be offered by Mossgreen Auctions Brisbane 21/02/2016, Lot No. 336, Est: $40,000-60,000

Completed Auctions

Spring Morning, 1914
Frederick McCubbin, Spring Morning, 1914, 64.5 x 77.5 cm, sold by Menzies Sydney 10/12/2015, Lot No. 39, Price: A$736,364