Three of four works by Jeffrey Smart, the South African artist who died last year, made 1.49m AUS last night at Sotheby’s in Australia. The entire sale made $6.26m with 75 % of the 95 lots offer finding buyers:
Smart’s 2003 painting The Red Warehouse sold for $878,400, more than double its $400,000 low estimate. The price included Sotheby’s 22 cent buyers’ premium, the auctioneer’s charge on top of the winning bid. Smart, who died last year, was represented at the auction with four paintings. Radial Road, 1972, achieved the second-highest result, fetching $610,000. The estimate was $500,000 to $700,000. Radial Road had been in the same family since it was bought from a Melbourne gallery the year Smart painted it. San Cataldo II, 1964, sold for $268,400, and the estimate was $220,000 to $280,000.
The fourth work by Smart was passed in.
Meanwhile, a new auction record was set for a painting by Dorrit Black. The Pink House, 1928, sold for $73,200, almost double its $40,000 lowest estimate and her 1944 painting, A Dorset Farmyard, sold for $54,900, also almost double what was expected. It was the first time either painting had ever been auctioned, or publicly viewed in decades. The previous record for a Black painting at auction was set in 2002 when Nude with Cigarette sold for $33,400. The artist’s overall auction record is $84,493 for a linocut, The Eruption, sold in London.