The 20th anniversary of Arkley’s death in July 1999 passed without comment. However, there was a flurry of new activity during the year, with several major works changing hands.

A number of works still in Arkley’s studio collection at his death were sold to private collections during 2019, notably Primitive [mural] (1981) [W/P], in the restored state in which it was shown at the Arkley retrospective in 2006; and Untitled [chair] (1999) [3/M].


In June, a new Arkley record price was achieved with the auction of Deluxe Setting 1992 by Menzies in Melbourne (for a press report, see Fish 2019). This exceptional work was acquired directly from its first exhibition at Tolarno in October 1992, and is still in superb condition. The hammer price of $1.25 million equated to $1,534,091, with the addition of the buyer’s premium.

Not surprisingly, this result galvanized other owners into action, leading to further significant auction sales later in the year, including Rococo Rhythm 1992 (also from Arkley’s 1992 Tolarno show); Floriated Address 1995 (a fine work with a newly clarified provenance); Room with Pink Chair 1998; Model Tudor Village, Fitzroy Gardens 1986; and finally, at the Sotheby’s auction in Sydney in November, two canvases first shown together at the Bellas Gallery, Brisbane, in 1993: Neapolitan Delight (1993) [kitchen] and Plain and Fancy (1993).