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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.
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.
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.
The Australian art collected by fifth-generation newspaper man James Fairfax sold superbly, as expected, when offered by Deutscher and Hackett under a sprinkling of fairy lights and chandeliers at the National Art School's Cell Block Theatre in Sydney on Wednesday August 30.
The auction grossed $10.3 million, including the 22 percent buyers’ premium, off its $4.7m to $6.7m pre-auction estimate. That total is a high watermark for a relatively small collection of pictures chosen by a wealthy connoisseur without input from an advisor.
Request a valuation to find out the market value of your artwork, or a pre-purchase report on an artwork you are considering purchasing. Our art market experts, who are approved valuers for the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program, will provide you with a quick and professional assessment of the artwork.
They will analyse the available data and put your artwork into perspective by giving you a price range of comparable works sold by the artist.