Smith & Singer

News & Video

When is an Art Auction not an Art Auction?

27 May 2020

Financial Review  |  Gabriella Coslovich

When is an art auction not an art auction? It’s worth asking at a time when auction houses are experimenting with new sales models that blur the line between private and public, and that increasingly encroach on the turf of art dealers. Traditionally, auctions have been public events – the auctioneer’s hammer falls and the winning bid is known. But the pandemic has been a catalyst for change, and some auctions are now more akin to secret sales.

A Mid-60s Submariner with a Sea Story... at the First Virtual Smith & Singer Auction

26 May 2020

Time + Tide  |  Nick Kenyon

Smith & Singer (formerly Sotheby’s Australia) are hosting their first watch and jewellery auction of the year this week, featuring a smattering of interesting watches, with a few standout pieces. While the current circumstances mean a crowded room focused on a rostrum is impossible, the auction will be held virtually, with bidding allowed via telephone and online to enable the sale to go forward. While watches only make up a portion of the Jewels Department of Smith & Singer, there are always some interesting lots on offer, including a Heuer Autavia “Jo Siffert” and an Omega Speedmaster Apollo XI 1969 ref. 145022 69 in the last 12 months. This sale is no exception, with a few lots in particular that aren’t things you might see every day, and is due to take place on May 27 at 6.30pm.

A Shared Vision

11 April 2020

Wish Magazine, The Australian  |  David Meagher 

Earlier this year, on a hot and steamy Sydney day, cosseted within the cool, hushed walls of the country’s newest fine art auction house in the well-heeled suburb of Woollahra were 25 exceptional works by the Australian artist Brett Whiteley. The paintings and sculptures had been gathered from various private collectors and many had not been on public display since they were acquired from the artist decades ago. It was one of the greatest assemblages of significant paintings by Whiteley to ever hit the market – prices for these works would be destined to break records for the artist. But there was a catch: there was no planned auction; the works are not actually for sale. That was never the intention of this particular auction house’s Whiteley exhibition. 

The Photography of Carol Jerrems Boasts Australia's Highest-Priced Photo – In Pictures

27 February 2020

The Guardian  |  Staff Writer

Carol Jerrems was a Melbourne-based photographer who died in 1980, at just 30 years old. Last November her work rocked the art world when a print of Vale Street (1975) sold for $122,000 ($1,00,000 hammer price) at a Sotheby’s Australia (now operating as Smith & Singer) auction. In her short and intense career she focused on figurative compositions that were intensely personal and informative of a life lived in Melbourne in the 70s.

Sydney Morning Herald  |  Nick Miller

Take a stab at what would be the most valuable Australian photograph ever sold. A Bill Henson? Max Dupain’s Sunbaker? As of November last year it is Vale Street, by Melburnian Carol Jerrems, taken in St Kilda in 1975. A print sold for $122,000 ($100,000 hammer price) at a Sotheby’s Australia auction – more than 10 times the previous record for the artist, and more than double the pre-auction estimate of $30,000–50,000.

Arts Hub  |  Visual Arts Writer

Artists do their bit for bushfires, Opera Australia to present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella,iconic street art festival returns to Benalla, plus more arts news.

The Age  |  Meaghan Wilson Anastasios

International auction house Sotheby’s will cease to exist in Australia after nearly 50 years of operation when the married couple who run the business drop the famous name for their own.  Following months of speculation, power couple Geoffrey Smith and Gary Singer confirmed they will relaunch their auction house at the same Melbourne and Sydney offices under the name Smith & Singer from January 1.

Time + Tide  |  Nick Kenyon

Last time I covered a Sotheby’s Australia auction, it was my first time attending a watch auction, and while there were a number of highlights, the sale was heavily weighted towards jewellery. In December, however, Hamish Sharma, the Head of Jewels at Sotheby’s Australia, and his hardworking team have produced a sale that not only has more watches but includes a number of very rare pieces that may have never hit the public market in Australia before.

Financial Review  |  Peter Fish

If Sotheby’s Australia was out to impress the new owner of the international operation which bears the venerable name, its latest $14 million Sydney auction can’t have done it any harm.

Visual Arts Hub  |  Staff Writer

Sotheby’s Australia has announced that a collection of treasures from the estate of Colleen McCullough will go to auction later this month.

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