Auction of late Lasalle College founder's works fails to raise target amount for halfway house

18 out of 42 works by the late Brother Joseph McNally were sold. ST PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI

SINGAPORE - The largest collection of works by the late Brother Joseph McNally went under the hammer over the weekend but failed to raise a targeted $600,000 for the HopeHouse.

Only 18 out of 42 works by the founder of the Lasalle College of the Arts were sold, netting $221,000 for the halfway house run by the La Salle Brothers.

Mr David Fu, director of 33 Auction, which handled the auction, said: "Most of the works sold were small-sized ones which saw some intense bidding."

These small works also exceeded pre-sale estimates. Untitled (Hugging) fetched $28,000, exceeding the pre-sale estimate of $15,000 to $20,000, while Leaping Fish went for $9,500, compared with the estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.

The most expensive work sold was Woman In The Moon, which went for $36,000, including buyer's premium, followed by Untitled (Hugging) at $33,600 and Untitled (Spirit Of Mahogany) at $26,400.

Mr Fu, 38, said that larger works found fewer takers. "From the response, collectors seem to find the size a limiting factor in deciding their purchases, hence the bigger-sized works weren't as popular."

These include a 2m-tall bronze work, a 1.43m-tall bog wood sculpture and multimedia pieces in metal and other materials.

Ms Diana Lim, 62, an art collector who was helping the La Salle Brothers with the sale, said the results were disappointing. She will be discussing next steps with Mr Fu and hopes the rest of the works will find new takers.

She said: "The size of the leftover works are more suited for corporation offices, building lobbies and front desk areas."

Mr Fu added: "The works are still open for potential sales and will be returned at a later date."

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