The Austcorp collection put on the block at Sotheby’s this week in a distressed sale showed that art will change hands at the right price. Because of the high sell-through rate (68 out of 72 lots), the sale was 96% sold by value (which is just the ratio of works sold over the amount bid on all lots including the ones that didn’t sell).
Sotheby’s entire sale brought in A$6.9 million and was 81.1% sold by lot (197 lots sold of 243). That’s lower than the A$7-9m they were looking for but also without the biggest lot which was withdrawn due to protests.
A bust by Chinese-born Australian sculptor Ah Xian has sold at auction for a record $180,000 in Melbourne. The sale of the work, titled Human, Human (Bust 5), was part of an auction of important Australian art from the Austcorp Group Limited collection at Sotheby’s in Melbourne tonight.
The bust’s sale price was double that previously achieved by the artist at auction, Sotheby’s head of Australian art, Georgina Pemberton, said. It had been valued at between $80,000 and $100,000 prior to auction.
Another sculpture, Lisa Roet’s bronze Chimpanzees Finger, sold for $52,000, well over the pre-auction estimate of $18,000 to $25,000.
“Tonight’s auction … saw strong prices and new records achieved across the board. This is a very positive message for the market,” Ms Pemberton said.
Art Buyers Confident (The Australian)
Bust by Aussie Sculptor Sells for A$180,000 (The Australian)