The Australian art world might well call it the Sale of the Century.
The sale of more than 90 works from the extensive art collection of Australian television king Reg Grundy, valued up to nearly $21 million, is potentially the most valuable single-owner auction to be offered in Australia.
Artworks by Australian greats such as Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, John Brack, Fred Williams, Eugene von Guerard, Ian Fairweather, Rosalie Gascoigne and Tom Roberts will tour to Perth, London and other cities for previews before the Bonhams Australia auction in Sydney on June 26.
Mr Grundy, 89, who made Australia's most popular television shows including Neighbours, Prisoner and Sale of the Century, and his wife actor Joy Chambers-Grundy have been collecting Australian art at the highest level since the mid-1980s.
John Cruthers, curator of the Grundy Collection, said the couple were looking to scale back their collection as they prepared to return to Australia after years of living in the Bahamas. They also maintain homes in London, Los Angeles, Brisbane, Sydney and a property in the NSW Southern Highlands.
The Grundy Collection auction, with combined estimated prices of between $15.5 million and $20.8 million, may exceed other blue-chip collections to come on to the Australian market.
Recent high points include The Fosters Collection, sold in 2005 for $13.3 million including buyer's premium, and the Harold E. Mertz Collection, sold in 2000 for $15. 9 million including buyer's premium.
Among the works likely to attract intense interest from public galleries, museums and private collectors are Arthur Boyd's The Mourners (1945, estimated $900,000-$1.2 million) and John Brack's The Jockey and his Wife (1953, est. $600,000-$800,000).
The collection's Perth preview will be on June 9.
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