that great. Having ruled out the potential for the above factors to have had an effect on the price paid for these works the only real remaining factor is subject matter. There must have been something about the subject of “Coffee Bar” that had a greater significance for Canadian collectors.
The two prints sold in the Australian auction have the same credentials as the two prints sold in Canada with both having come from the same private collection and being of the same condition etc. Here in Australia, however, the estimates provided by the auction house suggest that the Australian market has different priorities and that the significance of each of these works differs to that of the Canadians. First of all, the subject matter appears to be of much less importance to Australian buyers than the Canadian buyers judging by the fact that the estimates provided for “Grader” and “Coffee Bar” are much closer together and do not seem to have been assigned due to the subject matter. In fact, the fact that the larger print has a higher estimate would suggest that the auction house thought that size of the work was of more importance than the subject matter. Date appears not to have been a factor because the later work has a lower estimate which is at odds with the higher value usually given to earlier works.
So, had the person who sold the two Sybil Andrews prints in Australia made arrangements for the works to be sold in Canada or had they marketed the sale of the works in Canada they may have been able to obtain a higher price. The potential for a higher price would be much greater for “Coffee Bar” as this work is obviously considered to be of greater value in Canada than “Grader”. In fact, the top price paid for a copy of “Coffee Bar” was reached in February 2008 in Canada where number 54 of the edition of 60 sold for $27,500 CAD ($31,771.11 AUD) which was, interestingly enough, achieved by an online auction conducted by Heffel auctions. Instead of the $9000 AUD achieved for “Coffee Bar” in Australia, the Australian seller of this work may have been able to get up to three times as much for the same work in Canada.
The amount of money you can get from the sale of a work of art can depends on many different things including the location of the sale. To maximise the potential sale price one needs to take into consideration the best location for the sale as the value of a particular work may be considerably different in different countries. If you aren’t interested in return on return on investment then the hassle of selling in another country may deter you from selling overseas but if maximising the sale price is important to you then the location of the sale should be carefully considered.
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney,