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Aboriginal artwork for auction in London

AAP logoAAP 19/09/2016 Ian McCullough

More than 90 pieces of Aboriginal artwork, sculptures and early artefacts will go under the hammer in London this week in the biggest auction of its kind outside Australia.

The curated auction of 92 lots have been on display at Sothebys in Central London since last Friday and go on sale on Wednesday.

Michael Nelson Tjakamarra's 1984 painting, Five Stories, classed as one the most iconic works of modern Aboriginal artwork, is one of the centrepieces of the auction and expected to fetch between $A260,000 and $A350,000.

The 1984 piece is the most published and exhibited work by any indigenous Australian artist and is being sold by the family of late Melbourne art dealer Gabrielle Pizzi.

There's also expected to be great interest in two carved wood sculptures of an unknown male and female couple from Purukapali and Bima, made in the 1960s by Bathurst Island sculptor Benedict Palmeiua Munkara.

The lot reserve for the figurines is $A50,000.

The auction is the second of its kind to be held by Sothebys, London, and senior consultant of Australian art Tim Killinger said the success of last year's sale gives him confidence of the auction being an annual showpiece in the British capital.

"It's a huge pleasure to showcase some many exception pieces of artwork from some of the most important collections in the world," Killinger told AAP.

"We also have some exceptional early artefacts and contemporary work from the likes of Tracey Moffat, Emily Kngwarreye and Walimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri."

"I anticipate this will be a landmark auction for the Aboriginal art field and there has been great interest from not only in the UK but also from the US and Europe."

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