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Bonhams & Goodman auctions - big prices expected

March 17, 2006

Bonhams & Goodman auctions expected to return big prices - for old cars and for Frances Hodgkins paintings

Australia’s second biggest auction house Bonhams and Goodman are expected to return record prices at their March auctions in Sydney starting this week.

Bonhams and Goodman, 20 percent owned by New Zealand listed company Mowbrays, have had their auction house status in Australia lifted to No.2 behind Sothebys, after Christie’s announced last week they would be closing operations in Australia.

The upcoming six days of major auctions, starting with collectable cars on Sunday, are estimated to return a total of over $A6 million.

Bonhams & Goodman (B & G) turned over $27million last year, believed to be the second largest result of any general fine art auction house in Australasia.

B & G is seen as the fastest growing auction house in Australia. In 2004 they sold 20 percent stake to NZ stamp dealer Mowbrays and last year they acquired a major share in Bruce’s of Adelaide, the oldest auction house established in 1878 and South Australian representative of Christie’s for 30 years.

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the six days of public viewings and day and evening auctions later this month. The value of the six days of sales is estimated at $A7-10 million.

Over $A3million worth of rare and valuable cars are expected to attract bidding from around Australia and internationally later this month.

The collectors’ car auction on Sunday includes some of the finest classic cars to be offered in Australasia.

A superb 1927 Bentley six and a half litre Speed 6 Le Mans sport tourer is estimated to fetch up to $A780,000

Other star lots include a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing with rudge wheels (up to $A600,000) and a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster (up to $A500,000).

The auctions will conclude on March 29 with the much anticipated sale of Australian, Aboriginal and international art including over 200 pictures from the estate of the late Angus WR MacDonald .

Two major works by famous New Zealand artist Frances Hodgkins (1869-1947) which were recently discovered in the UK could fetch over $100,000.

One is a still life the other of a harbour in the south of France, painted in March 1946.

Bonhams & Goodman chief executive Tim Goodman said the March auctions were the largest group of mixed vendor sales ever conducted at the one time in Australia.

``To have no less than two Mercedes-Benz 300 SLs and a big Bentley 6 litre with Speed Six specs under the one roof is unheard of.’’

``The March auctions follow a year of record sales of over $A10million of Collectors' Cars conducted by B and G.

``The local market for drivable vintage and classic sports cars has picked after some spectacular auction results recently in the US,’’ Goodman said.

Other auctions the Sydney event include motorcycles, collectables, antique dolls, jewellery, decorative arts and clocks, fine Australia, Aboriginal and international art.


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