Record price achieved for Australian art at auction

  • March 25, 2010 14:20

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First Class Marksman by Sidney Nolan depicts the celebrated anti-hero Ned Kelly, a 19th c. Australian bandit.

A bold, modernist Sidney Nolan painting of infamous bush outlaw Ned Kelly, titled "First-Class Marksman," sold for $5.4 million (including a 20% buyer's premium), making it the most expensive Australian artwork ever sold at auction.

About 200 people packed Menzies Arts Brands in Sydney for the 217-lot sale on March 25. An anonymous bidder on the phone outlasted the heated competition on the floor for the Nolan.

The 1946 work is part of Nolan's early Ned Kelly series and is the only painting from a collection of 27 exhibited in Melbourne in 1948 not currently owned by the National Gallery of Australia.

Read more at The Australian

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