in $380,000 ($456,000 with premium) against an estimate of $500,000-$700,000. Although the Russell failed to break the lower estimate by a long margin, the fact that it was last sold for $266,500 (including premium) in 1999 means that the results was still good regardless of the estimate which seems to have been a little ambitious to begin with. The other work to top $100,000 was Rupert Bunny’s ‘Femme Lisant’ which sold for $190,000 against an estimate of $180,000-$250,000.
Ken and Rona Eastaugh collection sale showed that buyers are hesitant to spend more than $100,000 even for great works but are quite happy to spend good money for top quality works in the $20,000-$60,000 estimate range. Looking at the works that sold in this range shows that many topped their high estimate including:
Lot 1: ‘Tamara Beach’ by Elioth Gruner which sold for $75,000 against a $50,000-$60,000 estimate
Lot 4: ‘The Wood Splitters’ by Tom Roberts which sold for $54,000 against an estimate of $28,000-$38,000
Lot 8: ‘The Morning Train’ by Frederick McCubbin which sold for $72,000 against an estimate of $40,000-$60,000
Lot 14: ‘The Richmond Stone Crusher’ by Frederick McCubbin which sold for $36,000 against an estimate of $25,000-$35,000
Lot 16: ‘Blossoms, Chantemesle; by Charles Conder which sold for $44,000 against an estimate of $30,000-$40,000
Lot 21: ‘The Bathers’ by W.B.McInnes which sold for $32,000 against an estimate of $20,000-$30,000
Lot 24: ‘The Eyrie’ by Tom Roberts which sold for $29,000 against an estimate of $15,000-$20,000.
Lot 34: ‘On a Chelsea Balcony’ by Dora Meeson which sold for $70,000 against an estimate of $25,000-$35,000
Lot 40: ‘An Officers Favours’ by Norman Lindsay which sold for $30,000 against an estimate of $15,000-$20,000
Lot 42: ‘The Orange Pickers’ by Emanuel Phillips Fox which sold for $34,000 against an estimate of $10,000-$15,000
Overall, the sale of the Ken and Rona Eastaugh collection was a great success even though some of the top lots failed to sell. The big test was the next nights sale which was the general Important Australian Art sale but because Sotheby’s had chosen to sell the Ken and Rona Eastaugh collection as a separate auction they had at least one successful auction on their hands regardless of how the next night went. Appearance counts for a lot in the art auction game and even though Deutscher and Hackett conducted a successful sale of a private collection the results of the sale of the collection were somewhat tarnished by the performance of the rest of the works in the catalogue. Because of this Sotheby’s private collection sale appeared much more successful than Deutscher and Hackett’s.
The results of the following days ‘Important Australian Art” sale will be analysed in my next post.
**All prices quoted are the hammer price unless otherwise stated
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to