This June a selection of 90 important works from the Grundy Collection will be auctioned by Bonhams in a sale worth between $15.5 million (£10.5m) to $20.8 million (£14.1m), making it potentially the most valuable single-owner auction to be offered in Australia. The sale will take place on Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay, Sydney.
The Grundy Collection, featuring Australian greats such as Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, John Brack, Fred Williams, Eugene von Guerard, Ian Fairweather, Rosalie Gascoigne and Tom Roberts, is remarkable for its quality and connoisseurship.
Reg Grundy AC, OBE is best known as the man behind a legion of Australia's most popular television shows, including Neighbours, Prisoner and Sale of the Century. Perhaps less appreciated is that Mr Grundy, and his wife, author and actor Joy Chambers-Grundy (who appeared in several Grundy productions including Neighbours) have long been enthusiasts of Australian art, collecting at the highest level since the 1980s.
The Grundy Collection auction may exceed previous blue-chip collections to come on to the Australian market, including The Fosters Collection of Australian Art, sold in 2005 (totalling $13.3 million, including buyer's premium), and the Harold E. Mertz Collection, sold in 2000 (totalling $15. 9 million, including buyer's premium).
Joy Chambers-Grundy said:
"Reg and I have collected fine art in various forms for more than 30 years. With the Australian collection our emphasis has been on striking images by major artists. In this way we've been able to showcase the acme of Australian art on our walls overseas.
"We now have too many paintings, many more than we can ever hang. We hate storing them, they should be seen, appreciated and enjoyed, so we've decided to rationalise part of the collection to allow many exceptional paintings to find new owners."
The Grundy Collection will attract the attention of public galleries and museums, and artists' records are expected to be broken. Among the many important works are:
The companion painting to this work, The Mockers, is in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Estimate $900,000 – $1.2m
An iconic early painting by Brack, famed as the artist of Collins St, 5pm and The Bar, both in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria. Estimate $600,000 -$800,000
Von Guerard's first commission in Victoria. An exceptionally rare painting, virtually all works of similar calibre are in public institutions. Estimate $900,000 - $1.2m
Two other major works of this time are in public institutions: You Yangs II (National Gallery of Australia) and You Yangs Landscape (Art Gallery of New South Wales).
Bonhams Australia Chairman, Mark Fraser, said:
"The Grundy Collection is a beautifully balanced vision of Australian art. It is based on connoisseurship and absolute focus on quality, with a stunning selection of works that could be included in museum collections.
"By focusing on a core group of artists, the collection has assumed a depth and strength that is rarely seen, and includes works of national and international significance."
Now 89, Reg Grundy first appeared on Australian television in 1959, three years after television started in this country, as a snappily dressed and spirited 35-year-old hosting his self-devised game show The Wheel of Fortune, which screened for another 36 years. He would soon become a household name, going on to produce a myriad of game shows, serial dramas and documentaries including The Restless Years, The Young Doctors, Sons and Daughters, and the international hit Neighbours, seen in more than 70 countries.
Important Australian Art from the Collection of Reg Grundy AC, OBE and Joy Chambers-Grundy
Wednesday, 26 June 2013, Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay, Sydney.
Previews in London, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne ahead of the Sydney preview and auction.
For further information please contact Rhiannon Broomfield, tel 0410 596 021 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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