RAuction Report: The Grundy Collection

by: Miriam Grundy   published: 26th June 2013

Not to be outdone by the other competing events of the night- State of Origin and the Federal leadership ballot-turned-bloodbath in Canberra, the much-anticipated sale of the Grundy Collection tuned out to be, by comparison, a very civilized affair.

Grossing $19.2 million including buyer's premium, it was the most rewarding single-owner Australian art collection sale in history. With very few items passed in, the clearance rate was very healthy at 84 per cent by lot and 85 per cent by value.

The collection was heavily marketed in Australia and overseas. With over 10,000 people worldwide previewing the works it appeared to pay dividends. With a distinct 'old school' flavor to the night, judged by the amount of pinstripe suits and loafers in the room, the lots were ticked off at a genteel pace and bidders were treated to apron-clad boys showing each lot as they came.

Mixed into the sale was a fine selection of Aboriginal works, with eight of the nine lots finding buyers on the night. 

First up was Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri, Rockholes and country near the Olga's, a striking work selling with little fuss at $46,360 inc. premium. The early Emily Kame Kngwarreye Alhalkere 1989, fetched a healthy $305,000 inc. premium.

Other notable sales were Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri Yam Story 1972 at $69,540 inc. premium, and Paddy Jaminji Hills of Turkey Creek 1984 setting a record for the artist at $170,800 inc. premium.

The rest of the Aboriginal section was made up by Robert Campbell (Jr.) Awakening the Rainbow Serpent  $39,040 inc. premium; Micheal Jagamara Nelson Untitled $12,200 inc. premium and Wimmitji Tjapangarti Dingo and Rainbow Snake Dreaming, $41,480 inc. premium. The only bark offered was Bininyuwuy The hollow log ceremony, showing strength at $30,500 inc. premium.

Rover Thomas' lackluster Dreamtime travels of two men was passed in, failing to make reserve at $60,000.

It was a productive night for Aboriginal art, restoring some order to the local market that may be an indication of promising things to come.  


Emily Kame Kngwarreye

AIAM Rank 1 AIAM Rating 37.3548

Paddy (Jampin) Jaminji

AIAM Rank 33 AIAM Rating 4.6617

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri

AIAM Rank 34 AIAM Rating 4.6287
Alhalkere  by Emily Kame Kngwarreye
Emily Kame Kngwarreye 12

150 x 121.5 cm

Country and rockholes near the Olgas by Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri
Country and rockholes near the Olgas
Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri 1

147 x 205 cm

Yam Story by Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri
Yam Story
Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri 5

85.0 x 80.0 cm

Awakening the Rainbow Serpent by Robert Campbell, Junior
Awakening the Rainbow Serpent
Robert Campbell, Junior

122 x 198 cm

Untitled (Watanuma, flying ant dreaming) by Michael Nelson Tjakamarra
Untitled (Watanuma, flying ant dreaming)
Michael Nelson Tjakamarra 1

180 x 122 cm

The hollow log ceremony  by Dick Bininyuwuy
The hollow log ceremony
Dick Bininyuwuy

205 x 70 cm

Dingo and Rainbow Snake Dreaming by Wimmitji Tjapangati
Dingo and Rainbow Snake Dreaming
Wimmitji Tjapangati

120 x 85 cm