A collection of rarely seen works by Australian artist Sidney Nolan have gone on public display, ahead of an auction later this month.
The 64 works from Sir Nolan's estate are being sold on behalf of his widow, Lady Mary Nolan.
Many of the pieces for sale date from the artist's early career, including works that have not been seen in public since the 1940s and 1950s.
They are being sold more than 20 years after Nolan's 1992 death in England, where Lady Nolan still resides.
The highlights include a hand-woven tapestry, Constable Fitzpatrick and Kate Kelly, based on one of Nolan's iconic Ned Kelly paintings, which is expected to fetch around $80,000.
There are also several works for the more budget conscious though, with price estimates ranging from $800 to $4,000.
That is a far cry from the $5.4 million paid for the Ned Kelly painting First-Class Marksmen by the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2010, setting a new record for an Australian painting.
The 64 works together are expected to fetch around $1.3 million.
Auction house Bonhams says Nolan paintings seldom go on sale, because the artist donated most of his works to public galleries.
The chairman of Bonhams' Australian operations, Mark Fraser, says the early works give a sense of Nolan's progression as an artist.
"This is the period when Nolan decided that he was going to become a professional artist," he said.
"He really was going to look at what was going on internationally and, obviously, an abstract artist, quite different to what we're all familiar with, the Ned Kelly paintings.
"We're seeing something that is not Sidney Nolan as we know it... We can see a transformation between this and the Ned Kelly paintings about 10 years later.
"Nolan is really Australia's only international artist. He is as well known in the UK or Ireland, where he recently had a major exhibition, or in the United States as he is here."
Barry Pearce is an art curator who is familiar with Nolan's works through his former role with the Art Gallery of NSW.
He says he is familiar with the works, but is surprised to see them being sold.
"The sum of the whole thing means more than the parts. It's bit of a pity I feel that they're being dispersed, because there's an amazing voyage through Nolan's mind looking at these things," Pearce said.
"They mean more when you go through them collectively. There are no really consummate masterpieces there, not like the last sale from the estate.
"So my hope would be that a lot of them do finish up where people can actually study them, and really get to know an intimate part of Nolan's process.
"These little pieces, they're like little fragments of his genesis and his thinking. They help you enter the mystery of the larger masterpieces."
The sale collection is on display in Sydney this weekend, before moving to Melbourne ahead of the auction there on August 20.