There were only a few works of Indigenous art in the catalogue of Deutscher Menzies 13th September 2012 Important Australian and International Fine Paintings and Sculpture auction, which was rather disappointing.
The highlight of the Indigenous works on offer was Lin Onus’ surreal painting 24 Hours by the Billabong Late Morning, 1994 which sold for a hammer price of $140,000 ($171,818 IBP) against an estimate of $120,000 – 160,000. The painting was last sold at auction in 2007 through Lawson Menzies at which time it fetched $192,000.
Although it was sold for a higher price in 2007, the price achieved on the 13th of September for 24 Hours by the Billabong Late Morning was still in the top 10 highest prices achieved for a work by Onus.
Also finding a buyer was a large 147.0 x 245.0 cm painting by Regina Pilawuk Wilson which sold for $24,545 (IBP) against an estimate of $30,000 – 38,000.
An incredible watercolour painting from 1855 by Eugene Von Guerard depicting a party of Aborigines sold for a hammer price of $110,000 ($135,000) against an estimate of $40,000 – 50,000. According to Menzies Art Brands, The predominantly figurative nature of this work makes it a highly unusual example of the artist’s Australian oeuvre.