International fine art auction house Bonhams
completed the sale of the Owston Collection (June 25 & 26) in Sydney, Australia, with a total of AUS$13.1 million. The two-day sale held in Sydneys Overseas Passenger Terminal attracted 1,400 people registered to bid. Australian bidders purchased over 80% of the collection, with overseas bidders buying the rest.
Highlights of the sale included:
A rare set of twelve George III collector's cabinets in which the great British naturalist Sir Joseph Banks stored his Australian geological specimens ($300,000)
Philip Reinagle and Sawrey Gilpin (British 17491833), Portrait of Colonel Thornton ($348,000)
Norman Alfred Williams Lindsay (Australian 1879-1969), The Sisters ($288,000)
A fine Irish Regency mahogany dining table ($288,000)
An impressive Victorian silver Equestrian group of an Indian spearing a buffalo by Charles Frederick Hancocks ($144,000)
A rare Javan rhinoceros trophy head by renowned taxidermist Rowland Ward ($108,000)
Bonhams won the right to sell the collection in its entirety as a single-owner sale titled The Owston Collection following tough competition from local and international auctioneers. The decision to entrust the sale to Bonhams was made by Stephen Duncan and Chris Powell of KordaMentha in their capacity as Receivers and Managers for Owston Nominees No 2. Pty Ltd.
Bonhams Australia CEO James Hendy commented: It was a real privilege to be entrusted with such a rare and important sale. Were thrilled with the interest raised in the collection, and this extraordinary result. The auction of the Owston Collection has successfully launched Bonhams back into the Australian market.
Bonhams Chairman, Robert Brooks, commented: Australia is a market we strongly believe in and are committed to. Single owner collection sales on this scale are incredibly rare and the Owston Collection gave us a great opportunity to show just what we can do.
Stephen Duncan, Partner of KordaMentha, said, It has been a long road to get to this point, and were thrilled with the result. Bonhams has done an exceptional and extremely professional job, sometimes under difficult circumstances. Their conduct of the sale has been exemplary. The marketing of the collection was outstanding and the result is a testament to that.
Bonhams have the pleasure of being instructed by KordaMentha to sell the second part of the Owston Collection in October 2010.