The three grand Grosvenor School prints auctioned by Deutscher and Hackett last Wednesday night lived up to the hype with all three selling for above the expected high estimate.
A new auction record was set for Cyril Power’s print The Tube Station which sold for $57,600 (IBP) against an estimate of $30,000 – 50,000, while the other Power print, The Concerto, made $38,400 against an estimate of $15,000 – 20,000.
Ethel Spowers’ Kites attracted the lowest price of the three Grosvenor school prints with a final price of $33,600 – still well above the $20,000 high estimate though.
John Brack’s Assembly was one of the highlights of the sale and was snapped up for $366,000 against an estimate of $250,000 – 300,000. The two major Jeffrey Smart paintings also did well bringing in $102,000 and $240,000 respectively.
The $300,000 achieved for Howard Arkley’s epic painting Spray Veneer (Vernice A Spruzzo) was the second highest price of the sale and the fourth highest price for the artist at auction.
Two major Ian Fairweather paintings were fought over by a number of eager bidders resulting in both selling for above their top estimate. The artist's Hangchow Canal sold for $126,000 against an estimate of $90,000 – 120,000 following which his painting Birdcage sold for $156,000 against an estimate of $80,000 – 100,000.
The sleeper of the sale was a spectacular abstract painting by British artist Sandra Blow who led the abstract art movement in fifties Britain, creating large abstract collages from cheap, discarded materials. Estimated to sell for $15,000 – 20,000, the important work sold for a final price of $31,200 (IBP).
Selling for $132,000 (IBP) against an estimate of $120,000 – 150,000, Emily Kngwarreye’s Merne – Bush Tucker, My Country, was the highlight of the Aboriginal art section of the sale. Exhibited in Tokyo as part of the major Emily Kngwarreye retrospective exhibition in 2008, the exceptional provenance of this painting is sure to have had a positive effect on the final price.