Auction Results

Strong results at Menzies auction

French 20th century master Fernand Léger’s 1943 painting China Town sold for $1,840,909 (including buyer’s premium) at Menzies February auction in Melbourne.

The sale realised a healthy $7,416,464 (84 per cent by volume and 83 per cent by value) and once again Brett Whiteley’s pre-eminent place at the top of the Australian market was reinforced with the seven of his works changing hands.

These ranged from $9818 for a small ink drawing of a...

Whiteley sets the pace at September auction

In a sign that iconic Australian artist Brett Whiteley is currently driving the art market, Menzies Art Brands sold 15 of his works at its two-day September auction.

The works comprised a diverse range of large oils, mixed media portraits, drawings and prints.

Whiteley’s two major paintings – The Sunrise, Japanese: Good Morning! and Gaugin – brought prices commensurate with his popularity and the importance of the works (respectively $1,681,...

Colonial paintings resonate well with buyers

Eugene von Guerard’s View of Hobart Town, with Mount Wellington in the Background sold recently for $1,562,500 including buyer’s premium to an anonymous Melbourne buyer who is moving away from artists of the Modern era and taking a strong position in earlier Australian art.

The painting by Australia’s most important 19th century artist was the star attraction at Menzies June auction and represented almost 20 per cent of the $8,426,454 total sale...

Former NGV curator's estate brings a tidy sum

Former National Gallery of Victoria curator the late Jennifer Phipps’ estate brought more than $370,000 at Mossgreen’s auction last week.   

The catalogue cover lot, Robert Rooney's Canine Capers I (1968), sold for $39,680 - a record for the artist at auction.    

Phipps nurtured the creativity of artists both in Australia and overseas and her collection reflected this, with works by contemporary artists such as Richard Larter...

High quality auction items bring great results

Philips Auctions first decorative arts sale for 2016 in February showed pleasing results for high quality items and those with good provenance.

Four Stuart Devlin silver creations – presented many years ago by the artist to the vendor (a close friend) – sold for $3000 including buyer’s premium, more than twice the low catalogue estimate.

The 84-year-old Geelong-born gold and silversmith is famous for winning the competition to design Australia’s decimal coinage...

Olympic running singlet sets record price

The National Museum of Australia purchased the historically significant running singlet worn by 200-metre Australian silver medallist Peter Norman at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games for $48,800 (including buyer’s premium) – against a presale estimate of $2500 – at Mossgreen’s sporting memorabilia auction on February 8. 

Sporting memorabilia head Max Williamson was delighted the museum purchased the singlet because it was such significant moment in Olympic history and for the...

Decorative arts sale a healthy sign for the future

Pick of Philips Auctions December decorative arts sale was lot 88 – an exceptional rosewood, ivory and silk Cantonese screen estimated at $20,000-$40,000 – bought by a Chinese purchaser for $72,000 including buyers premium.

The top jewellery item – from the following Monday night auction – also was lot 88 (eight and its multiples are considered lucky numbers in China), bought by the successful bidder for $67,200.

Other jewellery items of note included 1970s cocktail earrings (...

Unknown colonial leads art auction results

Menzies final art auction for 2015 was characterised by sensational results for the almost completely unknown colonial painter, Thomas Balcombe (1810-1861).

The results underscore the enduring interest for early Australian depictions of Aboriginal life.

This included a top price for Lot 61 of $98,182 (including buyer’s premium) for a scene of an Aborigine fishing by torchlight painted in 1853.

The two small paintings and five drawings of variable quality were of equal...

Unique Australian ceramics collection sells for double its anticipated value

Almost all of Marvin Hurnall’s unique collection of Australian pottery sold at auction on November 8 for $967,582 – more than twice the value anticipated by auction house Mossgreen.

The most expensive item was a glazed earthenware figure of a blue winged dragon (lot 214), which sold for $26,840 including buyer’s premium.

Other items of note included a Bendigo Pottery pair of large double handled glazed earthenware urns ($18,300, lot 69), Maude O’Reilly’s kookaburra figure with...

Phar Lap catalogue brings top dollar

The recently unearthed original auctioneer’s copy (dated January 24, 1928) of the Yearling Sale Catalogue in New Zealand for the sale of Australian champion racehorse Phar Lap sold for a staggering $46,360 (including buyers premium) at Mossgreen’s auction on November 2.

A bright red chestnut standing a massive 17.1 hands, Phar Lap (1926-1932) dominated Australian racing of the era, winning 37 of his 51 races (including the 1930 Melbourne Cup) – and being placed second or third in five...


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