By any measure it was a glamorous auction. The auctioneer was Mark Politmore, aka 7th Baron Poltimore, Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe and a regular guest on Antiques Roadshow. He was selling The David Clarke AO Collection together with other Important Australian Art. It was worth his journey. Deploying charm, wit and efficiency he sold 111 lots on the night for over $11million, the highest auction result for Sotheby’s Australia since May 2007. Records were achieved for 10 artists; it was that sort of night.
Justin O’Brien’s beautiful The Window No.2 (1978) sold for $158,600, Lin Onus’s pretty Frogs on Waterlilies (c.1994) sold for $512,400, and a lovely Cressida Campbell woodblock Banksias (2004) fetched $109,800. The most newsworthy work was a charming portrait by John Brack of his eldest daughter which had not been seen in public for nearly 60 years; it sold for $884,500.
Some of the success can also be attributed to the ‘name collection’ factor. David Clarke was one such ‘name’; a founder and executive chairman of Macquarie Bank, also for ten years a wonderful chairman of The Australian Opera (as it was then known) and then founder and chairman of the Opera Australia Capital Fund, among other sporting and charitable interests. A well considered collection by an individual attracts more interest and often higher prices at auction. So do your estate a favour, build a judicious collection and try to be famous.
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