Australia’s The Age reports on Sotheby’s sale of a single-owner collection that came in a little more than 5% under the low estimate even though a very healthy 84% of the works sold. The Estaugh collection of 60 Australian paintings, along with some other articles books and furniture, made A$1.96 million.
The first lot of the evening, Elioth Gruner’s 1920 Tamarama Beach, sold for $10,000 more than its highest estimate at $90,000, and Frederick McCubbin’s The Morning Train sold for $86,000 when $60,000 had been the best estimate. Another high point was the record set for Dora Meeson whose pretty 1912 On a Chelsea Morning sold for $84,000, well above its $25,000 to $35,000 estimate. Meeson’s previous record was $7700.
These sales confirmed the belief that soothing landscapes are more recession-resistant than more challenging art. This logic didn’t work for the centrepiece of the auction by the Australian-in-France impressionist John Peter Russell. His Pecheur sur Falaise (fisherman on a cliff) painted about 1900 was estimated to sell for between $500,000 to $700,000 but sold for $456,000. It was last bought in 1999 for $266,500.
Reserved Beginning for Art Auctions (The Age)