The painting has been in a private Brisbane collection since its 1950s purchase and the strong sale price might be indicative of the heightened interest in Fabbi’s works since the recent discovery of his lost journals describing his Egyptian journeys.
Leading Australian colonial landscape painter Walter Withers (1854-1914) – part of the Robert Law collection handed down through three generations and whose paintings have never before been exposed to the secondary market – was another strong performer with his work entitled Coastal Farm (lot 142) going under the hammer for $32,000, $7000 above its high catalogue estimate.
The same result was achieved for iconic Australian indigenous artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s (c1909-1996) My Country circa 1994 (lot 117).
Popular artist Deborah Halpin’s Cheshire Cat 2015 (lot 115) brought $17,000, comfortably within its $15,000-$25,000 catalogue estimate, while Sidney Nolan (1917-1992) popped up with Girl + Horse 1941 (lot 9) for $11,000.
This painting, an oil on hessian on board housed in a private London collection, was a gift from Nolan to the present owner’s father.
Another Australian indigenous artist Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula (1938-2001) featured in the top 10 results with Two Women Travelling at Puja (lot 177) that sold for $10,000.
David Boyd’s (1924-2011) A Moment of Inspiration 1998 (lot 12) achieved a creditable $9000 while Charles Rolando (1884-1893) Beside the Campfire (lot 32) was not far short at $8500 on a $3000-$5000 estimate – the same as another Nolan painting Harbour and Boat 1942 (lot 86).
Dutch artist Arnold Marc Gorter (1866-1933) and Geoffrey Dyer (1947-2020) each achieved $8000 for their respective works Early Spring Landscape in the Netherlands (lot 41) and The Changing Climate 2013 (lot 83).