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News and Opinion

Deutscher + Hackett leading the way in art auction sales in 2017

By David Hulme & Brigitte Banziger on 21 September 2017 // Exclusive to the AASD
Wittenoom’s modestly sized Sketch of the Town of Perth, WA, c1836-37 (lot 1) carried high hopes of $150,000-200,000 but was eclipsed by the $240,000 hammer price. This blistering start set the tone for the rest of the Deutscher + Hackett auction, with 83% of lots sold by volume and 108% sold by value, a total of $5.24 million incl. bp. This brings D+H’s total for the year to $30.73 million, indicating that Australian art auction sales for 2017 could achieve the second highest total on record.

Mossgreen’s 'Contemporary Vision' big on promise but small on numbers

By Peter James Smith on 18 September 2017 // Exclusive to the AASD

Australian Curators and Art Market Audiences need to get out more. Mossgreen’s ‘A Contemporary Vision’ sale brought the international artworld to their door—but the curators, institutions, buyers and art marketeers didn’t open that door. Few attended the sale. Few saw the spectacular pre-sale installation of international works from the 80-piece catalogue across Mossgreen’s Melbourne locations that would have made any art museum proud. At least, few were there when this writer attended the viewing.

Collectors keen for a memory of artist Michael Illingworth

By John Perry in Auckland on 15 September 2017 // Exclusive to the AASD

It seemed as though everybody wanted a ''slice of Mike'' so The Michael Illingworth Estate Sale at Art + Object in Auckland on 14 September started with a bang, and with about 150 potential bidders in the room continued apace until the last item in the 72 lot sale, the artist's anthropomorphic pallet... a real trophy which sold at the bargain price of $7,500, surely a record price for an artist's pallet at auction in New Zealand.

Vale Joan McClelland at the age of 104

By Terry Ingram on 8 September 2017 // Exclusive to the AASD

With the death of Joan McClelland in respite in Melbourne on 4 September, Australia lost its most respected art dealer of many years and most dedicated saleroom habitue. For several decades almost into the 21st century Joan rarely missed an antique and art sale in Melbourne of any note, and many of lesser significance.

Rejected Tom Roberts' painting declared genuine

5 September 2017

When Australian couple Joe and Rosanna Natoli came across a painting bearing the signature of one of Australia's greatest artists, Tom Roberts, on the website of an English auction site, with a sale estimate of between £60 and £80,  it seemed too good to be true.

"We thought it worth a shot," Ms Natoli said, a journalist from Seven News in Queensland. Come auction day, bidding was furious but, believing it to be a genuine, the Natolis gambled "everything we had at the time in the bank" and made a winning bid of £7500. Shipped to Australia they found the painting, curiously titled Rejected, in need of repair. After undertaking some restoration work they put it up to auction in Brisbane with an estimate of $30,000.

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Forthcoming Auctions

Can you hear me St Francis?
Colin John McCahon, Can you hear me St Francis?, 30 x 30 cm: each panel; 30 x 90 cm: overall, to be offered by Art+Object Auckland 31/10/2017, Lot No. 24, Est: $250,000-350,000

Completed Auctions

Head of a Boy (1949)
George Russell Drysdale, Head of a Boy (1949), 40.5 x 30.2 cm, sold by Sotheby's Sydney 03/05/2017, Lot No. 38, Price: A$610,000