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  • Jane Messenger

DEUTSCHER and HACKETT Important Australian Aboriginal Art $2.7m TRIUMPH, 18 March 2021


detail: Emily Kame Kngwarreye, "Anooralya (Wild Yam" 1989, synthetic polymer paint on linen. Sold AU$437,500 incl. BP (Est AU$150,000-250,000)


Deutscher and Hackett, and the Australian Aboriginal art market generally, were rewarded last night for their tightly curated auction, Important Australian Aboriginal Art. The AU$2.7 total (including BP) was significant because only 53 works were offered for sale, with 31 lots (61%) hammering on or above the high-end estimate and only 4 lots failing to sell.


The signals for a rebounding Australian Aboriginal Art market began to appear in 2019, after actor Steve Martin loaned his collection of Desert Paintings to blue-chip Gagosian Gallery, New York. The year ended with the resounding success of Sotheby’s first dedicated sale of Aboriginal Art (also held in New York, after initial plans for it to be held in London), with momentum sustaining a second dedicated auction in December 2020.


Deutscher and Hackett's results indicate that market growth will continue for works of quality and depth, recognised by collectors and their advisors, but also where auction houses are considered in their presentations. As expected (given recent developments and the significance of the works), Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri, Rover Thomas, Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula and Doreen Reid Nakamarra sold strongly. Michael Cook’s Civilised #13 sold for $57,132 (including BP), notable because an impression from the same edition sold in December for $31,909 (including BP).


Messenger Art Advisory provides independent advice on buying or consigning to auction, ensuring transparency and managing the associated logistics. We also provide Insurance Valuations, important to consider in light of the changes to the Australian Aboriginal Art market.

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