A new benchmark for the Australian art market was set tonight at Bonhams
auction of Important Australian Art from the Collection of Reg Grundy AC, OBE and Joy Chambers-Grundy which totaled $19,166,566 to become the most valuable single owner art auction ever held in Australia.
In front of a standing room only audience of over 400 people, Bonhams auctioneer and Australian CEO James Hendy brought the gavel down on the Collections 89 works of art with 84% sold by lot and 85% sold by value.
12 new artist auction records were set including for the top lot of the auction, Fred Williams' spectacular You Yangs Landscape 1, 1963 depicting the area near Melbourne which sold for $2,287,500.
Reg Grundy and Joy Chambers-Grundy said: "We were surprised and touched by the amount of interest shown in our works and the auction and we are pleased that paintings of this quality will again be seen and treasured in new homes and collections."
Mark Fraser, Australian Chairman of Bonhams commented: The record results tonight reflect the outstanding quality and connoisseurship of the Grundy Collection. As Australia's only international auction house, Bonhams attracted bidders from around the globe competing for works by a whos who of Australian art. After a five city tour of London, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, over 10,000 people visited the exhibitions, far surpassing any auction viewing numbers previously seen in Australia.
* The previous record for any single owner Australian art auction was held by the Harold E. Mertz Collection which sold in 2000 for $15.9 million.
* 12 new artists world auction records were set for: Fred Williams, Margaret Preston, Herbert Badham, Narelle Jublin, Frank Hinder, Tony Ruckson, Weaver Hawkins, Sam Fullbrook, Rosalie Gascoigne, Timothy Johnson, Paddy Jaminji, Robert Campbell (Jr.)
* The top 3 works sold from the collection were:
Fred Williams, You Yangs Landscape 1, 1963, sold for $2,287,500
John Brack, The New House, 1953 sold for $1,952,000
John Brack, The Breakfast Table, 1958, sold for $1,464,000