Kiwi masterpieces to fetch millions
One of the most exiting collections of New Zealand art to go under the hammer is expected to fetch more than $2 million at auction this month.
Auckland's International Art Centre will auction off 119 pieces of local art on July 26, including works by Charles Goldie, Gottfried Lindauer and Peter Siddell.
The centre's director, Richard Thomson, says it is a collection unlike any he has seen before.
"In our 40 years of trading, this is one of the most exciting offerings we've seen in some time."
Thomson picks Siddell's painting, Opening, as a highlight. The work from the Auckland artist, who died last year, is being sold on behalf of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. It is expected to fetch around $150,000, which would be a record for a piece of Siddell's art.
Thomson says it is a "particularly spectacular" example of the artist's work.
Another piece set to attract buyers is Goldie's Study of Still Life. The work was painted in 1890 when the artist was still in his early 20s, and while it is not one of his trademark Maori portraits, Thomson says it is a standout because of this.
"It just shows you what a remarkable talent he had at an early age...for a Goldie collector, this is the ultimate."
The entire collection is estimated to sell for between $1.8m and $2.5m.
"This [auction] is certainly up there in terms of the value of the collection. This is one of the most spectacular offerings seen on the market for some time, in our opinion. There are contemporary works and there are historical works, but there's quite a lot in between," Thomson says.
"They all have one thing in common, and that is they are very good examples of the artists."
Thomson says he expects records to be broken during the auction, with art sales remaining stable despite the current economic climate.
"If anything, it has the opposite effect. Opportunities are there for the buyers, and for those that are selling because they may need to free up some cash, sometimes there are buyers who will pounce on that opportunity.
"In the hardest of times, paintings have always done very well historically. If you look at the Europe art market at the moment, the prices being paid, including The Scream recently at $119m, just shows you people are comfortable putting their money into fine art pieces.
"At the end of the day, art is tangible, it is an investment, it holds its value and if not, it improves, and if you buy right, you can sell right."
The International Art Centre's Important, Early and Rare auction starts at 6.30pm on July 26. Public viewings begin on July 20.
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