The Aboriginal art auction scene has been relatively quiet over the last few weeks save for a couple of auctions one of which took place in Paris, the other in Melbourne.

French auction house Artprecium held an auction of Aboriginal art on the 4th of October featuring works from the collection of Anne de Waal. A pioneer of the promotion of Aboriginal art in Europe, and one of the founding members of the Museum of Aboriginal Art in Utrecht, The Netherlands, de Waal is an important figure in the history of Aboriginal art.

Even though most of the paintings from the collection were offered with very low estimates, a majority of the works sold for below the given estimate. Had these paintings been sold in Australia they would likely have been offered with significantly higher estimates.

The fact that the estimates were so low, and that so many of the works were sold for below the low estimate, suggests that the vendor was keen to divest themselves of these works. Another auction of works from de Waal’s collection was held by Artprecium on the 24th of May.

Leading the sale was a large, but rather uninspiring, 150×100 painting by Paddy Fordham that only managed 1300€ against an estimate of 1800€ – 2000€. A painting by Brandy Tjungurrayi achieved the second highest price of 1100€ which was well below the 2000€ – 2200€ estimate.

A hammer price of 1000€ was achieved for three paintings by three different artists including Sandy Hunter Petyarre, Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa (Mrs Bennett) and Ada Bird Petyarre. All the other paintings sold for less than 1000€.

A number of Aboriginal artworks were also featured in Leonard Joel’s September 23rd Sunday Fine Art Auction in Melbourne. Highlights included two paintings by Minnie Pwerle that fetched $4320.00 (IBP) and $2640.00 (IBP) respectively which was just above the low estimate for each work.

Two acrylic-on-linen paintings by Ian Abdulla attracted plenty of interest resulting in each painting exceeding the $800- $1200 estimate with a final price of $2,040 (IBP). Also finding buyers were works by Violet Petyarre, Elizabth Nyumi, Lilly Kelly Napangardi, David Malangi and Makinti Napanangka.


Artist: Paddy Fordham, Brandy Tjungurrayi, Sandy Hunter Petyarre, Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa, Ada Bird Petyarre, Ian Abdulla, Violet Petyarre, Elizabth Nyumi, Lilly Kelly Napangardi, David Malangi, Makinti Napanangka

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