Bonhams May series of auctions held in Sydney produced some fantastic results for Aboriginal art. Although buyers were highly selective passing on many wonderful lots, there was plenty of competition for the most highly desirable and significant works.
The highest price for an Aboriginal work of art during the May series went to a large and incredibly beautiful painting by Paddy Bedford titled Thoonbi, 2006 which sold for $180,000.
Gordon Bennett’s Haptic Painting Explorer (The Inland Sea) 1993 was the second most expensive work by an Aboriginal artist selling as part of the Fehily Collection for a total of $108,000 to art consultant Annette Larkin who would most likely have been purchasing on behalf of a client.
Children’s Story by Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi from the Superannuation Fund of William Nuttall and Annette Reeves sold for $45,600 just ahead of Emily Kam Kngawarray’s Untitled painting which fetched $31,200.
The cover lot of the main Aboriginal art sale, Deaf Tommy Mungatopi’s Coral, sold for $60,000 while a wonderful painting by Clifford Possum titled Warlugulong made $38,400.
Aboriginal art highlights of the Bonhams Australia May series of auctions were as follows:
Sold for AU$ 45,600 inc. premium
Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi (1920-1987) Children’s Story
Sold for AU$ 31,200 inc. premium
Emily Kam Kngawarray (circa 1916-1996) Untitled
Sold for AU$ 26,400 inc. premium
Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula (circa 1938-2001) Untitled (Secret Cave Site of Mitukatjirri)
Sold for AU$ 21,600 inc. premium
Lena Nyadbi (born circa 1937) Gimmenbayin Cave
Sold for AU$ 180,000 inc. premium
Paddy Bedford (circa 1922-2007) Thoonbi, 2006
Sold for AU$ 60,000 inc. premium
Deaf Tommy Mungatopi (circa 1925-1985) Coral
Sold for AU$ 38,400 inc. premium
Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (1932-2002) Warlugulong
Sold for AU$ 33,600 inc. premium (25000 “ 35000)
Daniel Walbidi (born 1983) Kirriwirri
Sold for AU$ 108,000 inc. premium
Gordon Bennett (born 1955) Haptic Painting Explorer (The Inland Sea) 1993
Artist: Gordon Bennett, Daniel Walbidi, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Deaf Tommy Mungatopi, Paddy Bedford, Lena Nyadbi, Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula, Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi