The Grundy collection of Australian art sold for an unprecedented $19.2m at Bonhams Sydney on June 26, making it the most valuable single-owner Antipodean art collection ever to auction Down Under.
Late Australian painter and print maker Fred William's 1963 oil on masonite, You Yangs Landscape 1, led the charge, selling for $2.1m, while recently deceased artist John Brack's 1953 work The New House made $1.8m.
A second John Brack oil on canvas, 1958's The Breakfast Table, also put in a strong performance, bringing $1.3m.
In August 2008, an untitled Brack watercolour sold for a comparatively meagre $44,697. Results from the present sale suggest prices for works by the artist are on the rise.
Bonhams' Mark Fraser commented: "The record results tonight reflect the outstanding quality and connoisseurship of the Grundy Collection.
"As Australia's only international auction house, Bonhams attracted bidders from around the globe competing for works by a who's who of Australian art.
"After a five city tour of London, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, over 10,000 people visited the exhibitions, far surpassing any auction viewing numbers previously seen in Australia."
12 artist-record breaking prices were achieved by exceptional works from Fred Williams, Margaret Preston, Herbert Badham, Narelle Jublin, Frank Hinder, Tony Ruckson, Weaver Hawkins, Sam Fullbrook, Rosalie Gascoigne, Timothy Johnson, Paddy Jaminji and Robert Campbell (Jr).
Following the highly successful sale, Australian entrepreneur Reg Grundy and his wife Joy Chambers-Grundy commented: "We were surprised and touched by the amount of interest shown in our works and the auction and we are pleased that paintings of this quality will again be seen and treasured in new homes and collections."
Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, we currently have a vast array of art and photography items in stock, including this Pierre-August Renoir handwritten letter.