Title of the Australian Art Auction Records database

State Library Victoria members can access hundreds of databases from home (if your home is in Victoria). That’s millions of articles, magazines, archives, ebooks, videos, songs, audiobooks and more, available through the catalogue anytime. We’re taking a closer look at new and/or interesting databases as well as hidden gems from our collections. Read on for top picks and tips from Librarians.

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Do you want to know the value of an artwork by an Australian or New Zealand artist? Take a look at the Australian Art Auction Records database. This is a subscription database that holds art auction results from Australia and New Zealand since the 1970s. It is accessible via the State Library Victoria website. 

What makes this database so great? 

This database is perfect if you are interested in an Australian or New Zealand artist and the price of their artworks for auction or for sale at gallery exhibitions. There are plenty of photos allowing you to visually compare artists own works, as well as various artists and the prices their works sold for. 

The data ranges from the 1970s up to now, with new auction and exhibition data and prices continually added, keeping it up to date and relevant for anyone interested in what an artist’s work might be worth now, and how their artwork has fared at auction over the years. 

Search functions 

The search function is simple: type the artist’s surname and see the results for the artist in question. Many artist’s records have a link to the Australian Art Sales Digest website, which has an artist biography as well as its own system of organising art sales. 

John Kelly list of works from Australian Art Auction Records

Another method of searching is to use the artist list option. This option sorts the artists in the database by surname, as well as listing the Most Traded artists. 

Entries for each artist list the artwork/s and price sold, and many of the listings include an image. You can search the artist’s portfolio to see what has been up for auction by price (high to low/low to high).

Anne Smith: listing of Prints & Graphics from Australian Art Auction Records

The artworks are listed by medium, allowing users to search by their favoured type of art format. 

If an artist has numerous works you can filter results by price, date of sale, title or size of artwork. 

Via an artist entry, you can view what auction house sold their work, as well as what galleries they sold to/exhibited in. 

List of auction houses and galleries that have sold works by Brett Whiteley in Australian Art Auction Records
List of painters sold by the Lauraine Diggins Fine Art gallery in Australian Art Auction Records


The ability to search so many different artists in one place is excellent for those who want to fossick for visual treasure within the boundaries of Australian and New Zealand artists. It’s nice to click away and discover thousands of works as varied as the dusty outback slices of life by Hugh Sawrey, the elegant tonalism of Clarice Beckett, or the shapely industrial sculptures of Clement Meadmore (just to name a few). 

A Confidential Moment in the Bar of the Cattle Camp Hotel, Charleville, Queensland. Painting by Hugh Sawrey. Image courtesy of John Furphy Pty Ltd.

Studley Park Footbridge c.1924. Painting by Clarice Beckett. Image courtesy of John Furphy Pty Ltd. 

Rain check 1995. Sculpture by Clement Meadmore. Image courtesy of John Furphy Pty Ltd.

The artist list link shows the Most Traded artist list. From there you will notice that Artist Unknown works are topping the trading leader board. It can be interesting to view the various works under the Artist Unknown links to see that sometimes art can be valuable without knowing who made it. 

We hope you enjoy exploring the Australian Art Auction Records database. 

We always welcome your recommendations for database trials  – let us know what you’d like to see.  Have a research query or questions on how to use our online collections? Ask a librarian

All images used in this blog were taken from the Australian Art Auction Records database. John Furphy Pty Ltd.

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