Friday - 19 December 2014

Record Boyd in Melbourne

30 August 2012Written by Anne Crane

Setting an auction record for the artist, a picture by Arthur Boyd (1920-99) was the top-selling work among the 60 lots of Australian and International paintings at Sotheby’s most recent sale in Melbourne.

Selling for Aus$1.4m (£972,220) on August 14, it provided a large slice of the premium-inclusive total of Aus$6.28m.

The oil-on-tempera composition was from Boyd's 15-work Bride series titled Bride Running Away, painted in 1957. The mid-estimate price beat the auctioneers' own record set at the same time last year when they sold The Frightened Bride for Aus$1m.

Both paintings explore the theme of indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, depicting an aboriginal man and a white bride.

Natural History

An Australian painting from the earlier colonial period that proved much sought after at the sale was the early 1790s watercolour, pen-and-ink-on-paper study of a hook-billed shrike or grey butcher bird, painted by the so-called Sydney Bird Painter.

The artist's natural history studies seldom appear at auction and the opportunity was seized when the work was bid to a multi-estimate Aus$180,000 (£125,000).

Grosvenor School Print

The international element of the sale featured two works by the British Grosvenor School artist Sybil Andrews, whose highly stylised modernist works are now so much in vogue alongside other members of the printmaking school.

Her Skaters of 1953, number 55 from an edition of 60, realised Aus$26,000 (£18,055), while Grader of 1959, number two from an edition of 60, made Aus$12,000 (£8335).

The buyers' premium was 20%.

£1 = AUS$1.44

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