QUEENSLAND artist Hugh Sawrey's famous canvas, The Four Deuces, soared beyond expectations to make a new record for his works at auction in Adelaide yesterday.
Its hammer price was $146,000 and, to auctioneer Jim Elder's great satisfaction, the Queensland painting is going back to Queensland. It has been purchased by a private collector.
Jim Elder was also the auctioneer the last time this work came onto the market, some 30 years ago, when it sold for $42,000.
The work is a sprawling 137x132cm oil painting of hot and languid Queenslanders gathered in the pub, some drinking at the bar, others grouped around a table playing poker. Its name comes from the four deuces being played on the table.
Sawrey's auction record was previously $105,000, for another work sold in Melbourne ten years ago.
The Four Deuces was always expected to break that amount, but Elder had tipped about $120,000 as the anticipated price.
Hugh Sawrey was one of Australia's most beloved outback painters and also, along with R.M. Williams, one of the men who founded the Stockman's Hall of Fame.
A decade before his death in 1999, he was awarded a C.B.E. for his contribution to art.
A moment is magically captured on the canvas, and this well-wrought oil has become acclaimed as one of the artist’s great masterpieces.
For more information, call auctioneer Jim Elder on 08 8267 2869.