Prior Years Archive:

Koons, Hirst Prices Drop 50%; May Take Next Decade to Recover

Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, the stars of the art boom, were deposed as auction bestsellers in 2009 as prices for some of their works fell 50 percent. It may take much of the next decade before their works return to record prices, dealers say.
By Terry Ingram on 21-Dec-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

The Year In Review: No Muse Is Good News

The value of art sold at auction in Australia took another slide last year, writes our special correspondent. But the slide was less pronounced as the year went on. Lacking anything like the previous year's Picasso "muse," it was a little less tragic than the final figures suggest.


Dealer Guilty of Artwork Deceit

Adelaide dealer Tony Antoniou and his company, Australian Dreamtime Creations, were yesterday found by the Federal Court to have breached the Trade Practices Act by selling artworks by a non-Aboriginal man under the name of Ubanoo Brown.

The Shifting Centre

GEOGRAPHY seems, at first, to disclose everything in a town as simple and symbol-laden as Alice Springs, capital, for the past four decades, of the desert painting movement and its near-constant cultural intrigues. But the contours of the central Australian art world map are changing fast in the wake of sweeping new governmental programs and interventions.

Rembrandt Buyer Is Said to Be Stephen Wynn

The mysterious telephone bidder who paid $33.2 million for a Rembrandt portrait at Christie’s in London last week was buying the painting on behalf of the Las Vegas casino owner Stephen A. Wynn, according to several experts familiar with the transaction.
By Jane Raffan on 16-Dec-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Santa Brings Solid Close to End of Year for Menzies Art Brands Sale

The combined Deutscher/Lawson Menzies Sale made $4,935,775 (hammer) against its presale low estimate total of $6.384 million, with 197 from 252 lots snared by clients, providing Menzies with a solid clearance rate of 78% by lot and 77% by value. Presumably filled with the confidence the Government keeps spouting, high end collectors cleared all but one of the sale’s twelve top lots over $100,000.


Sotheby’s, Christie’s New York and London Contemporary Art Sales Total Drops 75%

Annual sales of contemporary art slumped 75 percent at the two largest auction houses’ evening sales in London and New York in 2009 after they abandoned price guarantees to sellers.

Dealers not sold on artists' small brush with fortune

The art world is divided over a resale royalty scheme, writes Gabriella Coslovich. Amanda Marburg's paintings are regularly traded at auction - not that she takes much interest in the machinations of the art-auction world. Profits made in that sphere have been of no benefit to the 33-year-old artist.

[New Zealand] art auction houses happy with market

Not the best of years, but by no means the worst of years _ and certainly exceeding the gloomy sentiments current in the last quarter of 2008. World recession or not, Auckland art auction houses profess to be reasonably happy with the market over the past year.

An Auction Record for Rembrandt

A Rembrandt portrait that had been hidden in a private collection for nearly 40 years sold at Christie’s in London on Tuesday evening for $US33.2 million, a record price for the artist at auction.
By Jane Raffan on 30-Nov-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Summer Snow and Westerly Winds: Menzies Art Brands’ Final Front for the 2009 Season

Fred Williams holds the mantle for Deutscher and Hackett with this year’s top sale price, which bodes well for the top lot of the Menzies Brands 16 December Fine Art auction, Summer Snow at Perisher (Lot 33), an unusually soft and snowy landscape by the artist, estimated at $680,000–840,000. Should snow at Christmas fail to excite Antipodeans, Whiteley’s rather brown picture of Lavender Bay in the heat of summer, Westerly with Daisies (Lot 32) is positioned to vie for the sale’s top lot with expectations of $600,000-800,000.

By , on 29-Nov-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Resale Royalty Legislation Set To Reshape Australian Art Market In 2010

Following a year of seismic shocks to the secondary art market, 2010 will open with the most dramatic change to the operation of the selling of Australian artworks since the entry of Christies and Sotheby’s over 20 years ago, with last weeks passing of Resale Royalties legislation by the Federal Senate..

By Jon Dwyer on 26-Nov-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

With Sotheby’s Brand - Fortune Will Favour the Brave!

Art market veteran Jon Dwyer, one of the major participants in the November round of auctions with expenditure of over $2.5 million on behalf of clients, gives his view on the shape of the auction landscape next year, based on his interpretation of saleroom events during the week.

By Adrian Newstead on 26-Nov-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Out With the Old and In With the New

Sotheby’s had many reasons to feel pleased, despite the sale total at hammer price falling around 30%  short of the low estimate total, for its November Aboriginal and Oceanic Art Sale.

By Sophie Ullin on 25-Nov-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Upswing in Collector Confidence Brings early Christmas Cheer

Christmas came early for Deutscher + Hackett at their  25 November Melbourne sale, with the cover picture selling at a run away price and the auction achieving a strong 77% clearance rate by volume and 92% by value

Supplied, 24 November 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

California Collection of Works by Ellis Rowan Provides Base for Final Bonhams and Goodman Sale

Bonhams and Goodman produced a sound result at Tuesday's auction with a 71.3% clearance rate by value, and 70% by value for a total of $2,057,400 including buyer's premium.  Surprisingly, Von Guerard's The Great Lake Tasmania 1875, (Lot 2), illustrated on the inside cover of the catalogue,  failed to sell, being bid to only $750,000.  However, at this level it would come as no surprise to see some post auction offers placed.

By Terry Ingram on 23-Nov-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Sotheby's Achieves a Very Healthy Result From A Sale Which Was Just What The Doctor Ordered

Sotheby's sale of Important Australian Paintings in its rooms in Armadale Melbourne on the evening of November 23, was just what the doctor ordered. Or at least what four doctors and one medical care professional, might have ordered.


It's hammer time for Sotheby's

IT IS the end of an era for Sotheby's art auction house as it heads into its final sales for the year - a tough year marked by falling profits, the global financial crisis, and an audacious takeover by an unlikely player.

Sotheby's, in a Dazzling [New York Contemporary Art] Sale, Nets $134 Million

In one of the most stunning performances ever on the contemporary art market scene, Sotheby’s sold on Wednesday evening 52 paintings, drawings and three-dimensional works, ranging from the 1950s to the present time, for a total of $134.44 million. This figure exceeded the highest expectations by more than a third, a rare occurrence under any circumstances.

Christie's [New York Post-war and Contemporary] Sale Brings In $74.1 Million

Christie's International auctioned $74.1 million worth of post-war and contemporary art at its evening sale in New York earlier tonight, led by a Peter Doig painting of a pond that sold for $10.1 million.
By Sophie Ullin on 11-Nov-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Foundation of D & H November Sale Based On Several Fresh to Market Lots

In their final auction for the year D+H is presenting a large 200+lot sale featuring a broad cross-section of artists, peppered with a few perennial favourites, but with only a few big ticket art works underscoring it.

By Adrian Newstead on 10-Nov-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Two Collections Provide Over Half the Items for Sotheby's Aboriginal Art Sale

Sotheby’s November Aboriginal and Oceanic Art offering may be a mixed vendor sale but its success depends largely on the fortunes of two quite disparate collections.

Supplied, 10 November 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Old Sotheby's Bids Farewell With A Fresh To Market Sale

For the last decade, the November round of auctions has traditionally been the weakest.  This is not the case with Sotheby’s offering on 23rd November.

By Jane Raffan on 09-Nov-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Wet Paint and Wet Behind the Ears - Parisian Aboriginal Art Auctions Need Refining

Since 2007, dedicated sales of Aboriginal art have featured on Parisian auction calendars, and while appreciation of Art Aborigène is still evident from museum and gallery promotions, the appetite for works appearing on the secondary market is currently moderate and has little depth. Apart from a few strong results for key works, the recent round of Aboriginal art auctions in Paris generated disappointing clearances around 30% by value.

By Jane Raffan on 09-Nov-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

British Sporting Pictures Race Away With Top Results at Davidsons Sale

As expected, Henry Alken’s Doncaster St Leger, The Start (Lot 236) was first past the post at the Davidson Meet on 7 November with a hammer price of $30,000. This was followed closely by JN Sartorius’ The Hunt (Lot 238), which brought in $20,000 against odds of $8,000-12,000. Two of the pre-sale favourites that failed to finish on the day (Lots 235, 237) are currently under negotiation.

Supplied, 8 November 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Blackman's 'Game of Chess' leads B & G Sale

Bonhams and Goodman have produced a rabbit, or in this case, an Alice and rabbit, out of the hat for their grand finale with Charles Blackman’s The Game of Chess 1956 being offered for auction for the very first time. 

By Jane Raffan on 08-Nov-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Tom Shuts Up Shop and Sells with Tim at Bay East

Tom Mathieson once had works by Norman Lindsay stolen from his gallery in a smash and grab (1). Now aficionados of Lindsay, Pro Hart and David Boyd are being asked to attest to the enduring popularity of their work in the 22 November Bay East Art auction, which features a core of 80 works from the stock in trade of Tom Mathieson’s recently closed Ramsgate based Australian Art & Investment Gallery.

By Jane Raffan on 06-Nov-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Art in Adelaide – Immigrant Dislocations and Aboriginal Dystopias

Often characteristic of both Adelaide and Perth auctions, the Elder Fine Art sale on Sunday 15 November has a strong regional representation as its feature, from 19th century émigré star Hans Heysen through to 20th century Adelaide born and bred.


Prices Far Surpass Estimates at Sotheby’s New York IImpressionist and Modern Art Auction

In an Impressionist and modern art sale that had all the right ingredients — quality, value and variety — Sotheby’s salesroom was teeming on Wednesday night with a United Nations of enthusiastic bidders from Latin America, China, the United States, Russia and elsewhere in Europe.

Degas Pastel Is Highlight of a Tepid Christie’s New York Impressionist and Modern Art Sale

French and Italian could be heard throughout Christie’s salesroom Tuesday night as the fall auction season began unsteadily: While there were some strong prices, there also expensive failures.
By Jane Raffan on 03-Nov-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

The Hunt is Still Alive and Well for Collectors of British Sporting Pictures

Amongst Davidsons Auctions 275 lot Australian and International Art sale (Saturday 7 November) are six British sporting pictures with a combined pre-sale expectation of $130,000. The four top works are by three well known proponents, whose production spans one hundred years of the genre.


The art market: Distress sales, iron curtain art and France’s Turner Prize

The coming fortnight sees the main autumn art auctions in New York, sessions that are very much a barometer for the state of the market. Sourcing for these sales happens over the summer, which last year meant before September’s financial meltdown, when the auction houses were still promising hefty guarantees and high prices in order to nail consignments.
Supplied, 28 October 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Van der Velden Back in Demand at International Art Centre Sale

International Art Centre's Auckland auction held on 22 October saw continued interest in the 19th & 20th century market, even though prices appeared inconsistent with recent sales held by the auction house.


Artist confronts store over forgeries

A RITZY interior design store has been ordered to remove a series of large paintings - with ticket prices in the thousands of dollars - from its walls after a Sydney artist spotted them as skilful copies of his work.

I'm a victim, pleads dealer hiding from art fraud case

THE alleged mastermind of Australia's largest art fraud, Ron Coles, is hiding out in a NSW coastal haven, driving taxis to make ends meet.
By , on 22-Oct-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Celebrations as Leonard Joel celebrates 90 year milestone

If a year is a long time in politics then it must be an epoch in the world of fine art. “Let me tell you”, John Albrecht told the 350 guests gathered last night for the celebration of the 90 year anniversary of Leonard Joel, “running an auction house can be a lot of fun.”


Upmarket wholesaler polishes up the art of auctioneering

THE rooms of Melbourne's oldest auction house, Leonard Joel, have witnessed the rise and fall of famous Australian families and companies as wealth has waxed and waned and tastes have changed.
Supplied, 21 October 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

The Great Contemporary Art Bubble

For those who missed the Australian screening of The Great Contemporary Art Bubble on ABC2 on Sunday evening, October 18, it is available for viewing on your computer via the ABC's iView system, until about November 20th 2009. The direct link is:

By Peter James Smith on 17-Oct-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Christies Postwar + Contemporary Art Sales in London 16/17 October Coinciding with the Frieze Artfair Weekend.

As a chill Autumn evening descended on London, 7pm 16 Oct King St, Christie's seasonal sale warmed a packed room of hearts and minds with a tight 25 lots designed to complement the traditional frenzy of the Frieze Art Fair Weekend that is the early October buzz of London.

By Adrian Newstead on 16-Oct-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Aboriginal Art: The Case for Independence

When visitors walk down Todd Mall in Alice Springs or enter an Aboriginal community for the first time their initial reaction is likely to be horror. Sitting in the street displaying the demeanor of those under the influence of alcohol, Aboriginal people appear to be impoverished and utterly bereft of comfort.

Supplied, 15 October 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Goldie the Feature of International Art Centre Sale

This weekend, Auckland's International Art Centre presents the works from their Important, Early & Rare auction to be held on the 22nd October for public view.

By Sophie Ullin on 14-Oct-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Deutscher and Hackett Aboriginal Art Sale - From Little Things Big Things Grow

There were thrills and spills aplenty during the auctioning of the first twenty lots of Deutscher + Hackett’s 2nd Aboriginal and Oceanic sale.  Some solid prices were paid for works of significance, one work was an absolute steal and there were a fair number of disappointments in an auction totaling $1.1 million.


Hearing date set for Hotere dispute

A hearing for the dispute over works of art by Careys Bay artist Ralph Hotere has been set for February 2 in the High Court at Wellington.

Indigenous market enters era of the code

With Friday's release of the finalised Indigenous Australian Art Commercial Code of Conduct, encrusted with high principles and complex reporting provisions, Peter Garrett's grand architecture for the Aboriginal art market is at last visible in its entirety.
By Frank Campbell on 11-Oct-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Transports of Delight

As anyone who has tried it knows to their cost, consigning art to general shippers or the postal service is often a nightmare. Most art is fragile. Included in general cargo, it is likely to be crushed under stupendous weight, spiked by sharp objects, or shaken like a cocktail. Just watch how luggage is put on planes.


Fair hopes nude will bring home the Bacon

THE Frieze Art Fair previews on Wednesday, with 165 galleries bidding to win business from billionaire collectors. That's up from 151 last year.
By Jane Raffan on 05-Oct-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Art Aborigène en Paris: Contemporary Art, bien sûr!, mais avec un peu Primitive Appeal.

Over the next month Paris will witness two auctions of Aboriginal art. While Australian indigenous art has been engaging the imagination and attention of the European public through gallery and museum exhibitions for decades, a steep rise in its attraction and appreciation by collectors can be traced to the celebrated 1993 exhibition Aratjara Art of the First Australians, and further renewed growth was evident following the 2006 opening of the Musée de Quai Branly in Paris.


The art market: New shows to reveal the thirst for Hirst

A year ago, Sotheby’s auction of new work by Damien Hirst racked up £111.5m, and was almost totally sold out. Since then rumours have rumbled on in the trade that the auction house had granted clients exceptionally long payment periods ...
By Adrian Newstead on 02-Oct-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Deutscher and Hackett Aboriginal and Oceanic Art Sale looks ‘Back to the Future’.

What a difference a day makes!  On the same morning that the Deutscher and Hackett Aboriginal and Oceanic Art catalogue arrived on collectors’ doorsteps, Tim Goodman announced that he had purchased the Sotheby’s Australian franchise. Two unrelated events to be sure, however both are likely to impact on the direction of the Aboriginal art market during and beyond the current economic downturn.

By Sophie Ullin on 01-Oct-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

More Auction Ructions: Parent Swallows Child

The newly minted joint auction house venture, Artemis, is in hiatus within nine months of starting.

By Frank Campbell on 30-Sep-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Some Thoughts on Goodman's Audacious Purchase of Sotheby's Australia

Tim Goodman's purchase of Sotheby's Australia has aptly been described "audacious". True, but not out of character. Goodman is a risk-taker. He describes his forty years in the auction business as a "rollercoaster ride".


Sotheby's Australia sold to rival auction house

THE prestigious international auction house Sotheby's has sold its Australian arm to a rival company headed by Sydney businessman and auctioneer Tim Goodman.

Bonhams to launch in Australia

Auction house Bonhams 1793 will launch an operation in Australia later this year.
By Frank Campbell on 26-Sep-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Giving the Past a Future: Internet Archives Revive Australian Art

An infinity of archival websites is dedicated to public culture, from obscure TV programs to extinct rock stars as well as cultural titans like Mozart and Picasso. Yet here we are, a decade into the internet era, with few websites dedicated to Australian artists.

By Jane Raffan on 23-Sep-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Deutscher~Menzies Achieves 86% Clearance Rate and Highest Price for 2009 To Date

A business-like atmosphere pervaded the Menzies Art Brands sale of 23 September, in Sydney, which achieved an impressive clearance of 86% by lot for a total hammer yield of just over $5 million, or 87% by value.

By Jane Raffan on 21-Sep-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Bay East Re-Branded: The Curious and Collectable Side by Side

Tim Goodman was recently trumpeted in the press about the expansion and development of Bonham’s & Goodman and its Waterloo based subsidiary Bay East Auctions. The Sunday 20 September Art Sale at Bay East featured 199 lots, including lot 45, ‘a pair of elephant paintings’. Not souvenir watercolours from a 19th century Grand Tour of the Far East, as one might expect, but actual works of art executed by elephants from the Training Centre at Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Market shakes off art attack to feel like a million dollars

THERE are signs confidence is returning to the art market with valuable paintings trickling back into auction showrooms and a Brett Whiteley touted as the first work likely to break the million-dollar mark in Australia this year.
Supplied, 16 September 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Webb’s Contemporary Sale Sets New Record for Peter Stichbury

Webb's achieved a very healthy 85% clearance under the hammer at their single vendor contemporary art auction last Monday night.  Unfortunately the total for the sale was $700,000, falling short of the $1 million dollar pre-auction estimate, however there were some strong prices and records achieved for works by some of New Zealand's best.

By Terry Ingram on 13-Sep-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

The Season of Storm, Stress and Toil. *

Terry Ingram, a regular saleroom correspondent for the Australian Financial Review, looks at the statistics for year to date Australian art auction sales, compiled by the Australian Art Sales Digest


Cultivating a good eye for the finest art

TIM Goodman's business Bonhams & Goodman, a veteran participant in the Australian fine art auction industry, may be well-established but, in Goodman's words, the journey has been a roller-coaster ride.
Supplied, 10 September 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Single Owner Auckland Contemporary Art Sale Features Diverse Works

A highlight of the Monday 14th September sale of Contemporary Art 1960-2009 at Webb's Auction House in Auckland must be the 3D auction catalogue available online. Michael Parekowhai's Kapa Haka  security guard ($45,000-65,000), is an imposing presence on the front and back covers of the catalogue, with Gregor Kregar's Coloured Gnome Trio ($4,000-6,000) standing tall on the inside cover.

By Jane Raffan on 08-Sep-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Hopes Ride High on Top Lot Merry-Go-Round

The Menzies Art Brands paintings sale (Sydney 23 September) comprises 160 lots with a low end total of $6.48 million dollars. In an otherwise generally lacklustre offering, spotted with occasional unusual examples from an artist’s oeuvre, the top 16 lots, each estimated over $100,000, represent a staggering 71% of total pre-sale value.  Most of these works are by blue chip artists who consistently feature in the market’s top ten traded list. While this might seem like a safe bet, the stakes are high, as many of these same works have been repeatedly turned over since 2004/2005.

Supplied, 6 September 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Buyers Not Deterred By Father's Day at Kingston Estate Sale

The much anticipated sale of the Estate of Marjorie May Kingston certainly exceeded expectations with the 316 lots being sold over a marathon six hour plus session.  During the course of the sale nearly one thousand bidders and onlookers attended the premises in Tivoli Place, South Yarra.

By Adrian Newstead on 01-Sep-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Early Desert Boards Underpin Successful Mossgreen Tribal Art Sale.

Despite their lack of pedigree, three early desert boards were the star performers in Mossgreen’s Fine Early Aboriginal and Oceanic Art sale held at Randwick Racecourse on Monday evening. The sale yielded $690,172 including buyer’s premium resulting in a 62% result by value and 58% clearance rate by volume. Of the six early desert works on canvas and composition board collected by specialist Bill Evans, four sold, generating $184,030, or 27% of the sales total.

Supplied, 30 August 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

A crowded catalogue with much variety saw the lower end of the New Zealand market in good health

The auctioneer at International Art Centre's 'Contemporary, Modern, Foreign and Collectable Art Auction' in Auckland must have wondered whether the company's advertising dollars had been wisely spent,  when the room was only half full, by start time of 6.00pm last Thursday.

By Jane Raffan on 27-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Collector Cachet: What Price Provenance?

The sale of The Estate of the Late James Gleeson at Bonhams & Goodman’s turned over nearly $1 million dollars (hammer) compared with its low-end total of $870,000 and cleared virtually 100%. The announcement by Goodman before the sale that all but a select few works would be sold without reserve momentarily stunned the room into silence, which was followed by an apprehensive murmur rather than excitement, suggesting the audience interpreted this to mean there were enough bids on the books to take sales well beyond published estimates.

By Patricia Kontos on 26-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Star Lots are the Star Buys

Melbourne where was where the auction action was this week and proved that even the salerooms’  star lots make for great buying in this cautious market.  At the Deutscher and Hackett art sale in Melbourne on Wednesday evening,  this was illustrated by the most important painting of the evening  Let be Let be by Colin McCahon (pre sale estimate $800,000 - 1,200,000).

By Sarrah Shapley on 25-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Sotheby's August Sale, Session II: Respectable Conservatism Gives Way To Dynamic Energy At Austcorp Collection.

The clearance at Session II was a spectacular at 94% by lot and 96% by value, and the energy in the room was palpable, despite the feeling of initial disappointment at seeing only about 50 seats filled for the evening.

Supplied, 25 August 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

B & G Buyers Not Deterred By Wet And Windy Weather

A duel for Lot 1 and only one lot passed in from the first thirty offered, augured well for Bonhams and Goodman’s Melbourne auction on Tuesday night.  This was to be the case – with 102% of the lots sold by value and 86% by volume, and more than $3.1 million (including buyer’s premium) being turned over.

By Sarrah Shapley on 24-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Sotheby's August First Session Brings Respectable Results

The interesting and wide ranging offering at Sotheby’s last night, with good examples of collectable artists, drew out wary bidders. The potential was there for a touch of the heady days of yore, when bidders fell into plant pots and needed to jump to be seen from their spot in standing room only conditions.  

Supplied, 23 August 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Kingston Estate: Seemingly Ave­­rage, But Only A Façade For Breathtakingly Extraordinary

Befitting the sale of an estate of a lady who was extraordinary, E. J. Ainger Pty. Ltd. have produced a fully illustrated A4 colour catalogue for the occasion of the house sale of the Estate of Marjorie May Kingston in South Yarra on Sunday 6th of September, 2009. Of the 316 lots on offer, around 90 are paintings, with balance including fine antique furniture, glassware, ceramics and other decorative arts together with some household effects.

By Jane Raffan on 23-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Withdraw the Benjamin Law Busts? A Contrary View.

The campaign for the withdrawal of the Benjamin Law busts of Aboriginal historical figures Truganini and Woureddy at tonight’s Sotheby’s auction does nothing to promote the cause for repatriation of items of significant cultural heritage for Aboriginal peoples, and is likely to further alienate the broader community from understanding the real issues that underpin this very sensitive and highly political issue.


Truganini bust sale battle

RARE busts of renowned Tasmanian Aborigines Truganini and Woureddy are expected to fetch up to $700,000. The pieces will go under the hammer at a Sotheby's auction in Melbourne on Monday.

Christie’s Scraps Plans for Art-Investment Fund, Loan Division

Christie’s International has scrapped plans to start an art-investment fund and a lending division, according to two people involved with the projects. The move is another sign that the global economic slump is hurting the once-booming art market.
By Adrian Newstead on 18-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Rare Clifford Possum Find Vital Ingredient in Mossgreen’s Italian Recipe for Success

Dealer turned Mossgreen Tribal art specialist, Bill Evans, has just about figured out the correct recipe for success. Six months each year traveling Africa, the America’s and Europe visiting collectors and friends while his former Caspian Gallery site in Sydney’s Oxford Street provides a comfortable income. And six months trawling a network of dealers and private vendors built during 30 years in the trade here in Australia, as he prepares Mossgreen’s annual tribal art sale.

Supplied, 17 August 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Bonham’s Offers Realistic Estimates On Surreal Paintings

Bonham and Goodman’s August offering is a who’s who of Australian art, featured in two catalogues, and offered in two cities.

By Jane Raffan on 16-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Many More Participants in 2009 Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair

The Telstra Art Awards aim to showcase the best works from indigenous artists Australia wide and works are priced, in general, for serious collectors. In contrast, what expectations should we have for the third Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair?

By Jane Raffan on 16-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

PR and Politics at the 2009 Telstra Art Awards.

The fanfare is over and the red carpet has been rolled away for another year. The winners of the 2009 Telstra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards are now well known, and are riding the national press train gathering status and celebrity at each stop.

By Sarrah Shapley on 13-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Sotheby’s – Waiting On The Collectors Response To Quality Offerings

Sotheby’s is starting off the August round of  art auctions with a $7 million - $9.41 million two-day sale of 246 lots of Important Australian Art in Melbourne on Monday 24th August and Tuesday 25th August. 

By Kirsten Holmes on 13-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Davidsons Auctions Makes the Bali Connection

Small but beautifully painted, Lot 245, Balinese Girl, 1945 was executed by well regarded Dutch artist,  Willem Gerard Hofker.  Hofker lived in Bali from 1937 to 1946, and this work is from his series of extremely popular paintings of Balinese landscapes and dancers.


Sotheby’s Sees Art Market Bottom: Profit Declined 87%

Sotheby’s Chief Financial Officer William Sheridan said art prices and sales have stabilized, after the New York-based auctioneer reported a worse-than- expected 87 percent drop in second-quarter earnings.
By Patricia Kontos on 11-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

New Zealand’s Bold and Beautiful to be Offered in Melbourne

The highlight of the forthcoming Deutscher and Hackett sale of Important Australian and International Works of Art, on August 26 in Melbourne is the inclusion of four works by visionary Aotearoa/New Zealand artist Colin McCahon.

By Terry Ingram on 09-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

The Coming Art Sales - Death, Debt, Divorce - and De-Cluttering

Debt, divorce and death - traditional suppliers of stock to the secondary art market - have created a heady mixture of Australian art auction offerings at the end of August.

By , on 05-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Passing of Resale Royalty Levy Next Week Set to Shake up Art Market

One of the most important changes to occur in the Australian art market is imminent, with the proposed Resale Royalty Levy set to become law when Federal Parliament resumes on August 11, 2009. Originally proposed to take effect from July 1 this year, the levy will now commence on a date to be prescribed once the legislation is passed.

By , on 04-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Tax Office Confirms Investment Allowance For Artworks

An Update to the "Art at Half Price?" article, as reported exclusively by AASD on July 26, 2009

By Terry Ingram on 02-Aug-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Boys Fighting Not Contested

A painting of two boys fighting over a toy was the catalogue cover illustration for a sale in Auckland last week. However, there was little fighting for the top lots in the room as bidders curbed their aggressive tendences, in the usual recessional way, for any dealings with vendors after the sale.

Supplied, 2 August 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Buyers Attracted To The Important, Early and Rare

New Zealand moved geographically closer to Australia recently when the Shaky Isles suffered another of its periodic wobbles. But the tremors only seem to strengthen the attachment to a New Zealand long since gone, and the pink and pearly sunsets that always seemed a part of it.

By , on 26-Jul-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Art at Half Price? Tax Break May Be Available, But Take Care.

On Friday June 26 The Australian Financial Review reported (page 3) that a 50% tax break on art purchases was available for  ABN holders. Could this be true? And if so, what should be considered before art buyers rush out to purchase artworks at effectively half-price.


Albert Namatjira: fame but not freedom

Albert Namatjira, the indigenous art pioneer, brought the joyous colours of the outback to countless Australian homes, but living between two cultures destroyed him, writes Paul Toohey in The Australian
By David Hulme & Brigitte Banziger on 23-Jul-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

What The Worst Pictures From An Exhibition Can Teach Us

Would I finally see some truly awful pictures, and what would they  be worth, I thought rather sacrilegously on walking through the  blockbuster exhibiton Between Earth and Heaven, of landscapes by  the great Vincent van Gogh at the Basel Art Museum.

Supplied, 21 July 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Naval & Military Club Sale Gets Buyers Fired Up

A weighty catalogue worthy of any blockbuster art sale, extensive print advertising and a court drama that held immense appeal for the popular press, ensured the successful sale of the major artwork component of the collection of the now defunct Naval and Military Club.

By Adrian Newstead on 20-Jul-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

William Barak Shines Amongst Otherwise Lacklustre Results in Sotheby’s Mid Year Aboriginal Art Sale

In a sale distinguished by  the low number of high value lots on offer, the work that graced the catalogue cover, created by colonial artist William Barak, sold in the rooms to Melbourne dealer Lauraine Diggins, on behalf of an undisclosed client for a hammer price of $420,000

Supplied, 19 July 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Journey's End for Art Investment Club

A cache of artworks from New Zealands finest is on offer in Auckland on 30 July. Art & Object will present 61 lots including The Odyssey Group Collection

By Terry Ingram on 15-Jul-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

A House Sale That Could Be The Purr-Fect Solution

That charismatic Melbourne art fossicker, the late Neville Healy was very much part of the scenery over the several decades the art and antique collection of the late Marjorie Kingston was taking shape. The collection will be sold by auctioneers E. J. Ainger of Richmond at Kingston's home at 13 Tivoli Place, South Yarra on September 6, 2009.

Supplied, 12 July 2009 Exclusive to the AASD

War Period Streetons Highlight of Naval & Military Club Sale.

THE nation's most famous military club has been forced to shut its doors for the last time. Melbourne's Naval and Military Club which once boasted presidents such as General John Monash and Field Marshal Thomas Blamey, as well as some distinguished folk elected to Life Membership, including Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was placed into voluntary administration in February, ending 127 years of tradition.


Downturn leaves art on hook

ARTHUR Roe collects art. He started pursuing his passion in earnest about nine years ago and now has a vast collection featuring some of Australia's finest abstract and indigenous artists.
By Adrian Newstead on 05-Jul-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Sotheby's Cleverly Positioned Aboriginal Art Sale Should Fit The Bill In Tough Art Market Conditions

In 2008 Aboriginal art sales plummeted from $23.8 million to just $11.8 million and, if this current Sotheby’s catalogue is any indication, 2009 is likely to see the market shrink still further


Bidding Is Thin at Christie’s in London

LONDON — The summer season of evening contemporary art auctions ended here at Christie’s on Tuesday night when collectors went bargain hunting, feeling comfortable dropping $2 million, but thinking hard when the numbers started rising.
By Terry Ingram on 28-Jun-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Crucial US link overlooked in Queensland's US blockbuster

Whatever happened to the artist who most closely linked America and Australia in the age of Impressionism? And why isn't he represented in the Queensland Art Gallery's current blockbuster, asks Terry Ingram. The exhibition evokes one of the great Australian saleroom mysteries of all time but provides no answers.


The art market: Slow Tuesday, fast Wednesday and the danger of a double dip

It was a tale of contrasting sales this week in London, as Christie’s and Sotheby’s rolled out their summer impressionist and modern auctions.
By Terry Ingram on 20-Jun-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Hats off to the Galloping Major

Auctioneering lost one of the last great characters of a racier, more colourful age with the death of Major William (Bill) Spowers after a fall at his Arboretum in rural England on June 12, writes Terry Ingram


Made in Indonesia, sold as Aboriginal

THE Aboriginal artist Ubanoo Brown depicts Australian fauna in a lively, colourful style. There's one problem: he doesn't exist.

One last skirmish for the old warhorses

"I CAN see why the club went bust," one old soldier harrumphed to Diary yesterday. "They brushed me off...

Fake: Fudging it in Australia's art world

Pamela and Ivan Liberto, a middle-class couple from Melbourne who were jailed for art fraud in November 2007, are still protesting their innocence...

Search hots up for rogue art dealer

ROGUE art dealer Ron Coles is likely to face fraud charges after police announced yesterday there was sufficient evidence for a criminal case to proceed...

Bikies want to have a 'chat' about their $1m

FUGITIVE art dealer Ron Coles is on the run from an outlaw bikie gang after he vanished with more than $1 million of its cash...

Scenes of old Sydney go under hammer

THE watercolour harbour scene in the battered old sketchbook is a strangely familiar image...
By Terry Ingram on 29-Mar-2009 Exclusive to the AASD

Weak Economy affects Deutscher and Hackett's first Aboriginal art auction

The economy and the lack of a raison d'etre explained the disappointing results from Deutscher and Hackett's first Aboriginal art auction. However, strong after sales gave the company renewed confidence in the future of these specialised auctions.


Legal action taken over missing art

PEOPLE who stand to lose their life savings after investing in paintings that have gone missing in the hands of a rogue art dealer have taken legal action...

Gallery's shout as it buys Brack's bar

THE National Gallery of Victoria yesterday secured an Australian masterpiece with a deal that relied on a $2 million loan from the state Government, a collector with a change of heart and a group of wealthy Melburnians...

The shock of the old

THE opening sales in Melbourne and Sydney this month will not only set the trend for prices for international and Australian art...

When cash is king

WHILE the lower end of the art market is feeling recessional squeeze, ...the middle and upper end show no signs of constriction or crucifixion...

Art buyers feel left out of picture

AUCTION rooms have known for several years that Ron Coles was trading fakes - and one disgruntled client has a letter to prove it...

Support for artist resale fee

A PARLIAMENTARY committee has backed the introduction of a 5 per cent resale royalty scheme for Australian artists...

Riding the tiger

JOGJAKARTA is a city of artists. On every corner of Central Java's ancient royal city there is an aspiring painter with good reasons to be hopeful...

Receivers called in as investors fume

THE unravelling of the affairs of elusive Hills art dealer Ronald Coles ... has advanced to a new stage...

A fair share of the action

WHEN the federal Government announced its resale royalty scheme for visual artists...

Auction merger taps new market

Specialist auction house Mossgreen and the larger firm Deutscher and Hackett have joined forces in an attempt to corner an untapped section of the market...