Featured in

  • Published 20210202
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-56-6
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THEY WENT TO a broker. Working their way through the maze of the air market felt beyond them, if they wanted to get the best possible price. Brokers knew buyers – collectors and connoisseurs, dabblers and dilettantes. They took a percentage cut. The broker’s eyes started popping like the ones on their great-grandmother’s Papuan death mask when they placed the bottle on his desk. Otherwise, he managed to maintain a composed demeanour.

‘It all depends on the provenance,’ he explained. ‘Buyers demand an airtight history.’ He paused. His pun was definitely for effect. His office was a hermetically sealed pod on the fifth floor of one of the glass buildings in Downtown. It had a view over the skyline. Obscured that day, as it was increasingly, by smog.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

More from author

Slow and steady

EssayWHEN I GOT back to the Ministry the electricity was still down. Our open plan office was a cavernous space, quiet now without the...

More from this edition

Breaking new ground

EssayIT WAS NEVER part of my plan to move to a farm. The landscape is Wiradjuri country, bought from previous farmers in the 1920s...

Hail hydrogen

ReportageI’M SITTING IN the passenger seat of a Hyundai Nexo on a tree-­studded Canberra street. It’s stopped to reverse into a parking spot, but...

Sitting with difficult things

EssayAS A CHILD in the early 1970s I would sometimes overhear my parents discussing how much commercial television I should be allowed to watch. The shows...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.