The Australian tallies up the total number of works being auctioned in Australia’s Spring sales and they come to 1000 works. The results are just beginning to come in with some disappointments but also many successes:
Howard Arkley’s House with Gate (1996) was the highest-profile painting among 400 lots at the week’s first auction yesterday by Melbourne auction house Leonard Joel. It was passed in when bidding stalled at $60,000, $10,000 below its lower estimate. “This surprised me, because it was well-priced,” said Leonard Joel chief executive John Albrecht.
A similar Arkley, Freeway Exit (1995), fetched $90,000 in May and Cosy Clinker (1994) sold for $265,000 in April last year. Mr Albrecht said lower-priced contemporary works were selling well and the market for traditionals such as still lifes and impressionists was strong, with an overall 70 per cent clearance rate.
Damian Hackett, the Sydney executive director of Deutscher and Hackett, which is auctioning 150 lots on Wednesday, expects prices for top-end paintings to hold well this week despite the financial climate.
1000 Paintings Set to Test Market (The Australian)