Sydney - 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 Collection's 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 who's 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."
Note to the editors
• 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
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com