Deutscher and Hackett’s November 28 Aboriginal Art auction produced some great results with two paintings selling for more than $100,000 (including buyer’s premium). The overall sale total of $671,100, which equated to 64% sold by volume and 53% sold by value, was a good result in the current climate.
Emily Kngwarreye’s Merne – Bush Tucker, My Country, 1995 was the highlight of the sale fetching $132,000 (IBP) against an estimate of $120,000 – 150,000. Having been exhibited in Tokyo as part of the major Emily Kngwarreye retrospective exhibition in 2008, the painting has the sort of exceptional provenance that collectors and investors seek.
The second of the two $100,000+ paintings was a spectacular natural pigment on linen by Paddy Bedford which sold for $102,000 (IBP) against an estimate of $70,000 – 90,000. Sourced from an Adelaide private collection, WirWirji – Police Hole, 2004 is a prime example of the minimalist style that characterises Bedford’s work.
Before the sale, Chris Deutscher, Exective Director of Deutscher and Hackett, singled out the camp dog sculptures by Lena Yarinkura as one of the highlights of the sale – and they didn’t disappoint. The first lot of the Indigenous auction, five of Yarinkura’s camp dog sculptures, sold for $18,000 (IBP) against an estimate of $8,000 – 12,000. Later in the sale, a single camp dog sculpture by Yarinkura sold for $7,800 against an estimate of $4,000 – 5,000.
Repatriated from a private collection in Amsterdam, an epic painting by Willy Tjungurrayi, which had the all important Papunya Tula provenance, sold for $54,000 (IBP) against an estimate of $50,000 “ 70,000. Achieving the second highest price at auction for the artist and just missing the record of $59,250 (IBP), Tingari Painting, 1985 is an important work by a very significant artist. The painting was last sold in 2009 for $48,000 (IBP).
Other highlights of the sale included Bill Whiskey Tjalaptjarri’s Rock Holes Near the Olgas, 2008 which sold for $36,000 against an estimate of $30,000 – 40,000 and Emily Kngwarreye’s Merne Anooralya which fetched $36,000 (IBP) against an estimate of $35,000 – 55,000.