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A miniature model called “Red Leader,” a X-wing Starfighter from the 1977 film “Star Wars, Episode IV, A New Hope,” on display in Texas.

A 55cm X-Wing model from the original ‘Star Wars’ sells for $5m

The model, discovered in a cardboard box owned by a Hollywood visual effects artist, headlined at a sale of movie props that brought $21 million.

  • Michael Levenson
Two ropes are tied around the neck of a Christopher Columbus statue before a group of people pull it down at the Minnesota state Capitol in St Paul, Minnesota, in 2020. Columbus’s legacy is viewed more critically today than when his Letters were auctioned last century.

A ‘Columbus letter’, the world’s first news release, sells for $6m

The 1493 pamphlet announcing Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the New World has a long history of being forged and stolen.

  • Julia Jacobs

This Month

Former NAB director’s art collection goes under hammer

Artwork in the estate of a Melbourne business blue-blood who shrugged off a fraud scandal in the 1990s will go under the hammer in Melbourne on October 29.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue
Brett Whiteley’s Yellow, 1975, sold for $3.25 million at a private sale held by Smith & Singer on Tuesday night.

Brett Whiteley’s Yellow cracks $3m barrier

The work fetched the fourth-highest auction price for the famous artist, as a Peter Powditch painting of bikini-clad women at Maroubra made a splash.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue

Art blue bloods under the hammer in ANZ revamp

The ANZ Art Collection is selling 37 works by the likes of Boyd, Drysdale and Rees to make way for contemporary artists.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue


Brett Whiteley’s Yellow, 1975, will be available for the first time in almost 50 years when Smith & Singer offer it by private auction in Sydney on October 10.

Whiteley’s Yellow a one-man show with $3.5m hopes

A Brett Whiteley painting bought in Sydney in 1975 and being offered for the first time since is the latest work to headline its own dedicated sale.

  • Andrew Burke

Menzies’ $3m-$5m Indigenous collection to sell, but not at Menzies

The late, controversial Rod Menzies’ collection will be sold by Cooee Art, while records tumbled for several under-appreciated women artists at Leonard Joel.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue
Big Blue Lavendar Bay is carried into

Mystery of what happened to Andrew Pridham’s $2.5m ‘Whiteley’ solved

The investment banker and Sydney Swans chairman speaks for the first time about being duped in Australia’s biggest alleged art fraud.

  • Gabriella Coslovich
Lyonel Feininger’s drawings in Fred Werner’s sketchbook dated 1889.

Sketchbook found behind a bookshelf expected to clean up

Works by Lyonel Feininger have sold for up to $36.2 million, so a book with his works discovered in a Sydney retirement village is set to attract plenty of interest.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue
Freddie Mercury and Queen, performing live on stage.

Someone just paid $800,000 for Freddie Mercury’s door

The first auction of the singer’s personal items raised more than $24 million for his former lover and closest friend, Mary Austin.

  • Updated
  • India McTaggart
Still Life, by Dorothea Francis (1903-1975), is estimated at $800 to $1200 in Leonard Joel’s Women Artists auction in Melbourne on September 18, 2023. 

The unlikely businessman who championed women artists

A Melbourne auction shines a light on a furniture salesman who used his own home as an art gallery.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue


An emphatic new auction record for Australian sculpture was set by Joel Elenberg’s Mask 1, 1978, which fetched $1,156,250 (including premium) at Smith & Singer’s  August 23, 2023, sale in Sydney. The presale estimate was $350,000 to $450,000. Mask 1 stands 55cm high including the base, and is made of black Belgian marble.

Sculpture smashes $1m barrier as ‘grotesque and meaningless’ painting brings $950k

Joel Elenberg’s depiction of his wife Anna Schwartz set an auction record for a sculpture in Australia, while Arthur Streeton’s cigar box lid had plenty of admirers.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue
A Fine Romance, 1994, by Prudence Flint, was purchased by Artbank in 1995 for $1400 and is now valued at more than $8000..

At Artbank, every dog is having his day

Artbank, which leases art to businesses, governments and consumers, is celebrating a record year with a canine-themed exhibition for International Dog Day.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue
John Peter Russell’s “Souvenir de Belle-Île”, 1897.

Belle-Île indeed: Record smashed in biggest sale in a decade

The $4 million paid for John Peter Russell’s Impressionist classic pushed Deutscher and Hackett’s sale beyond $15 million.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue
Elegant Assembly at Jishui Tan, by Luo Pin (1733-1799) and (possibly) Zhang Daowo (1757-1829). This handscroll in ink and colour on paper, measuring 1.32 metres long, was estimated at $80,000 to $120,000 in Bonhams’ Sydney sale, Asian Art, Including Paintings from the Wong Family Collection, on August 9, 2023. It fetched $615,000 including premium.

Chinese buyers send prices soaring for accountant’s scrolls

A collection that originated with a prominent Guangzhou family blew estimates out of the water, including a $393,600 sale on a high estimate of $5000.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue
Arthur Streeton’s Evening Game, 1889, painted when the artist was 22, debuted in the historically important exhibition, the 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition, in Melbourne, 1889. The work in oil on cardboard is estimated at $400,000 to $600,000 in the catalogue for Smith & Singer’s August 23, 2023 auction in Sydney.

$600k for a small, ‘grotesque and meaningless’ painting?

Fred Williams might top Smith & Singer’s big mid-year sale of Australian and international art, but the more modest works have the most intriguing stories.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue
John Peter Russell’s “Souvenir de Belle-Île”, 1897.

Impressionist Russell’s Souvenir tops $11m-plus sale

A work by the Australian painter who taught Impressionism to Matisse tops Deutscher and Hackett’s August sale, which could prove the biggest of the year so far.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue


Tim Klingender, left, with leading American collector of Aboriginal art, John Wilkerson, in New York in May 2023.

Artists rally to keep Klingender show on the road

Tim Klingender may have died in a tragic boating accident last week, but art world luminaries will step up to keep his flag flying at Sydney Contemporary art fair.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue
Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997) wearing ‘Black sheep’ wool jumper by Warm and Wonderful (Muir & Osborne) to Windsor Polo, 1980.

Princess Diana’s iconic black sheep sweater set to fetch $74k

A red sweater adorned with a flock of sheep worn by the young Princess Diana is expected to sell for more than $US50,000 ($74,000) at auction.

Celebrated Victorian artist Graeme Drendel’s gouache and watercolour on paper, Model on Chair, 2003, is estimated to sell for between $300 and $500 through Gibson’s auctioneers in Melbourne next week. The small work (10 x 8.5 cm) is in a two-part auction of works from the Lyn Faulkner Art Collection.

Contra and controversy: accountant to the arts stars sells up

Lyn Faulkner, who has done the books for thousands of artists, is selling off her collection – including part of a controversial MONA artwork.

  • Elizabeth Fortescue