Amazing Ah Xian Busts Head Sale of RBS Art Collection in Sydney


Written by Nicholas Forrest,

Thanks to an amazing catalogue of well-priced and highly desirable works of art, Shapiro Auctioneers should be quietly confident when they auction the ABN AMRO/Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) collection of art in Sydney on the 26th of November as part of their $1 million Australian & International Art sale.

Originally owned by ABN AMRO, which was taken over by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2007, the amazing art collection was established in 1999 by Sydney based art curator Barbara Flynn who also assisted with the development of the ABN AMRO Emerging Art Award in 2004.

Because RBS are downscaling their Australian operations, and also due to the fact that an art collection is not part of their current business direction, a spectacular collection of contemporary works of art by some of the most sought-after Australian artists is being made available on the open market for the first time.

Leading the sale are two amazing porcelain busts by Chinese-born, Sydney-based artist Ah Xian which were commissioned by Flynn after seeing the artist’s work at a Primavera exhibition. Estimated to fetch $80,000 - $120,000 each, the busts are sure to generate plenty of interest.

Also discovered at Primavera exhibitions were Michael Zavros, winner of The Bvlgari Art Award 2012, and Lionel Bawden, both of whom are represented by fantastic works in the sale that were commissioned by Flynn.

Consisting of 16 panels measuring around 15 x 19 cm, Zavros’s epic work Executive Suite 2000-2001 is one of the standout works of the sale and is being sold with a very reasonable estimate of $20,000 - $30,000.

Another Primavera-inspired purchase, Japanese-born, Australian-based artist Natsuho Takita’s two-panel painting is another fantastic work and a great buy at the $3,000 - $5,000 estimate.

Elsewhere in the sale, three early Bill Henson photos repatriated from a New York private collection have been particularly popular according to Andrew Shapiro, Managing Director of Shapiro Auctioneers Australia.

Identified by Shapiro as the “sleeper” of the sale, American sculptor Richard Stankiewicz’s imposing welded steel creation is worth every cent of the $15,000 - $25,000 estimate. Known for his work in scrap metal, Stankiewicz is the subject of a major exhibition currently being held at New York’s Washburn Gallery.

Also generating plenty of interest is a small but magical Clement Meadmore resin sculpture from a US collection that, with an estimate of $3,000 - $5,000, would be incredibly enticing to any collector looking for a reasonably priced entry into the Meadmore market.

Published: November 23, 2012
Artinfo -