Aboriginal art auction result a good reward for effort

One of Australia’s top Aboriginal artists Emily Kane Kngwarreye was the top earner at Deutscher and Hackett’s Melbourne Australian Aboriginal art auction on March 18.

Her painting, Desert Winter 1994 (lot 8), sold for $317,200 including buyer’s premium followed by her other auction work, A Desert Life Cycle III 1991 (lot 9), for $170,800.

Despite the difficulties now facing the Australian auction scene with the onset of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the Deutscher and Hackett sale realised $2,361,676, or 83 per cent by volume and 100 per cent by value.

Works collected by former Jirrawun Art Corporation chairman Helene Teichmann performed well with Paddy Bedford’s Jinanganny – Cattle Creek 2004 (lot 23) bringing $128,100, well within the catalogue estimate.

Freddie Timms Jack Yard 2005 (lot 24) was another strong result for the Teichmann collection, changing hands $39,040 (above the top catalogue estimate) – while Peggy Patrick’s Mistake Creek 2004 just tipped the estimate scales at $10,980.

There were other good performers like Bedford’s Camel Gap 2001 (lot 36) which sold for $91,500 and Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri’s Marawa 2004 (lot 19 - $85,400).

The Maclean collection attracted plenty of attention with Gulumbu Yunupingu’s Garrak (Larrakitj) 2011 (lot 40) selling for double its auction estimate of $20,000 and artists like Nonggirrnga Marawili (lots 42 and 43) and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu (lots 44 and 45) selling within or above estimates.

The old favourites like Albert Namatjira’s The Ghost Gum of Palm Valley c1943 (lot 2) and Ghost Gum and Valley, MacDonnell Ranges c1950 (lot 3) also fetched good results respectively changing hands for $48,800 and $36,600.

Another strong performer was John Mawurndjul’s Billabong at Milmilngkan 2006 (lot 1 - $51,240).


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