Bought for $100, this Banksy can sell for $650,000

Known as ‘Di-faced tenners’ (a play on ‘defaced tenners’), these fake banknotes made by Banksy are used by the Pest Control Office as an authentication tool to prevent confusion, fraud and misattribution.

The Pest Control Office affixes one half of the double-sided tenner to each certificate of authenticity accompanying a Banksy work and retains the other half in its database. The same sequence of numbers is written on each half of the banknote. If an account ever shows up with numbers that don’t match the database, the Pest Control Office knows it’s probably dealing with a fake.

John Olsen, The Bath, 1996 Top lot of the Deutscher and Hackett fine art auction on 3 May 2023 in Melbourne, The Bath has been featured in major Olsen retrospectives but has never before been offered at auction. National Gallery of Australia curator Deborah Hart called The Bath “one of Olsen’s most memorable works”. Measuring 180cm x 200cm, the piece has an estimate of $280,000 to $360,000.

Another of Mr. Mulholland’s frustrations is that it can take a long time to get certified by the Pest Control Service if the job doesn’t come with him. So when Girl with balloon came with full documentation, “it was just too valuable to let my frustration with Banksy’s people get in the way.”

Girl with balloonmeasuring 65.5cm x 50cm, number 71 in an edition of 150, it is now among 91 lots in Deutscher and Hackett’s Important Australian and International Fine Art auction to be held in Melbourne on 3 May. The auction house will be hoping for the popularity of another version of Girl with balloonwhich infamously fell apart after being auctioned in 2018 and later sold as Love is in the trash for US$25.4 million (S$37.2 million), will add competitive pressure when bidding begins.

The auction will sell artwork worth between $6.4 million and $8.6 million if the lower and upper estimates prove correct. Buyers must pay a buyer’s premium of 25 percent on hammer prices.

One piece that could break its estimate of $280,000 to $360,000 is The bathroom1996, by John Olsen, for whom tributes poured in after his death on April 11.

Russell Drysdale’s Children, 1950, has never been auctioned and comes from a private collection in Melbourne. It carries the highest estimate ($1.3 million to $1.6 million) of all 91 lots in Deutscher and Hackett’s 3 May 2023 auction of important Australian and international fine art in Melbourne.

Dr Deborah Hart, Chief Curator of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Australia, once wrote this The bathroom was “one of Olsen’s most memorable works”. During the painting, Olsen spent a lot of time in the same bathroom when he lived in Rydal, near Bathurst, New South Wales. This was because he had just undergone major knee surgery. Olsen himself wrote in 1996: “The bathroom it might be my best since Where am I going?“. Damien Hackett called The bathroom “true slow release picture”.

Elegant and comical at the same time, Brett Whiteley’s Pelican I, 1983 (cast in 1987) is a painted bronze sculpture measuring 89cm x 93cm x 29cm. Its estimate at the Deutscher and Hackett auction on May 3, 2023 in Melbourne is $350,000 to $450,000.

“A painting this important can do double what we’ve said, whether the artist is alive or not,” Mr Hackett said.

Three other Olsens are on the D+H staff. Smith and Singer’s May 2 auction has two more Olsens. Together, the auctions will be a litmus test of the great artist’s posthumous market.

Making its auction debut with Deutscher and Hackett is that of Russell Drysdale Children are dancing1950, which carried the auction’s top estimate of $1.3 million to $1.6 million.

Bits of metal, capable of speed and danger, have always been a favorite motif of Southern Highlands artist Ben Quilty. With this painting of a gleaming Mercedes Benz, titled Want Want Want, Quilty takes his obsession into the realm of luxury.

Ben Quilty’s painting of a gleaming Mercedes Benz haloed in aerosol yellow is sure to attract attention, like a flashy Parramatta Road car dealership sign. Titled I want I want I want2006, the 140 cm x 200 cm work is estimated at $120,000 to $160,000.

Evelyn Syme is better known for her graphics, but for her painting Bayside Still life with pineapple is a small piece of jewelry estimated at $15,000 to $20,000. In 2015, when it was titled Table setting with still life, the piece sold at auction for just $2,160. What a difference eight years can make.

Bayside Still Life with Pineapple is by Evelyn Syme (1888-1961), the daughter of a prominent media family who was better known for printmaking than painting. This oil on canvas painting is estimated at $15,000 to $20,000 at Deutscher and Hackett.

“(The Syme) just fits the bill right now. It’s 1950, it’s in the sweet spot. And she is an amazing female modernist artist,” Mr Hackett said.

In the Deutscher and Hackett exhibition in Sydney (until Sunday 23 April, before being seen in Melbourne from 27 April to 2 May), the painting by tonal artist Max Meldrum Gometz-le-Chatel1927, hangs with Wattle in Sherbrookeabout 1923, by his recently much better-known student Clarice Beckett.

Clarice Beckett’s Sherbrooke Wattle, circa 1923, sold at auction for $2,640 in 1990. The work is estimated at $25,000 to $35,000 at Deutscher and Hackett’s May 3, 2023 auction. in the past years.

Meldrum is estimated at $4,000 to $6,000. The Beckett is estimated at $25,000 to $35,000 after it was sold at auction in 1990 for just $2,640.

Max Meldrum’s oil painting, Gometz Le Châtel, 1927, is estimated at $4,000 to $6,000 at Deutscher and Hackett’s May 3, 2023, Melbourne auction. In this work, Meldrum’s stylistic influence on his pupil Clarice Beckett is evident. Beckett is a current darling of the auction market. Can Meldrum ride his student’s coat tails?

The three Brett Whiteleys in the auction involve romance Harbor in the rain, 1977 ($400,000 to $600,000). A huge and apocalyptic oil painting by James Gleason, Blackout Time Images2003, is $30,000 to $40,000.

James Gleeson’s looming apocalyptic painting, Images for a Darkening Time, showcases the late master’s bravura oil painting skills. It is estimated at $30,000 to $40,000 at Deutscher and Hackett’s Important Australian and International Fine Art auction on 3 May 2023 in Melbourne. The work is new to the auction market.

Bonhams Sydney’s April 23 auction of 76 works from the well-known Sydney collection of Fred and Eleanor Wroble offers mostly cheaper works than the Deutscher and Hackett sale. (Bonhams’ buyer’s premium is 23 percent.)

Fred Wrobel, a survivor of the horrific Nazi-era Jewish ghettos, died in 2015. Eleanor Wrobel died last month while helping organize the Bonhams auction.

Vrubel’s more highly regarded works include Etude° C. 1904, by Rupert Bunney ($40,000 to $60,000) and Self portrait1936, by Nora Heysen ($80,000 to $120,000).

Art historian Johanna Mendelsohn wrote in the catalog that Wrobels’ legacy “is to remind us that works of art are personal to both the artist and their viewer, and the connections between those who make art and those who appreciate beauty , can be as significant as the work of art itself”.

Other works to be auctioned by Deutscher and Hackett are below.

The historic photograph by Mervyn Bishop depicts then Prime Minister Gow Whitlam and traditional local landowner Vincent Lineari. Whitlam pours dirt into Lignari’s hand to mark the return of the land to the people of Gurungji. The photograph is estimated at $18,000 to $25,000 at the Deutscher and Hackett auction on May 3, 2023 in Melbourne.

John Perceval’s Boy by a Mound of Fruit, 1943, is estimated at $100,000 to $150,000 in the catalog for Deutscher and Hackett’s May 3, 2023, Melbourne auction. The work (69cm x 42cm) is part of Perceval’s series in which he paints himself from childhood, going through the terrors and uncertainties of his difficult early years.

The Old Whaling Station, Mosman Bay, Sydney, by Albert Henry Fullwood, 1899, watercolor and gouache on paper on cardboard. The work is fresh on the auction market. An oil painting by Fullwood titled “Australian River” fetched an artist auction record of $148,800 in February 2023.

Margel Hinder’s Maquette (Adelaide Telecommunications Building), 1971, in hammered copper and copper pipe on wooden base, is estimated at $65,000 to $85,000 at Deutscher and Hackett. The current owner paid $41,825 for the work through Christie’s in Sydney in 2006.

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