A new auction record was set for a work by any living aboriginal artist when Michael Nelson Jagamara’s Five Stories, 1984, sold for £401,000 (AU$ 687,877), more than doubling the pre-sale high estimate of £150,000-200,000. Offered from the Gabrielle Pizzi Collection, Five Stories is considered the most iconic work of modern aboriginal art, and is possibly the most published and exhibited work by any indigenous Australian artist.
Following a prolonged bidding battle, Benedict Palmeiua Munkara’s Male And Female Figures of Purukapali and Bim, executed on Bathurst Island in the 1960s, soared to £251,000 (AU$430,566), far in excess of the £30,000-50,000 estimate and setting a record for an aboriginal sculpture at auction. An artist record was set for Warlimpirringa Tjapaltjarri’s untitled painting from 2007, which more than doubled pre-sale expectations to sell for £167,000 (AU$286,473) (estimate: £50,000-80,000). Overall, the auction achieved £1.6m (AU$2.8m), representing a 55% increase in value from the previous year’s inaugural edition of the Aboriginal Art sale in London.