Don Binney's Last Flight of the Kokako fetches record price at auction
A prized Don Binney painting has sold for the record price for the famed New Zealand artist of more than half a million dollars at auction.
The work was one of 300 pieces put up for auction by art collector Warwick Brown at Mossgreen-Webb's on Wednesday night.
Binney's La Chute d'Icare, Pureora: Last Flight of the Kokako, sold for a hammer price of $455,000. The total price realised - including taxes - was $534,625, a record for the artist.
The extensive contemporary New Zealand art collection was more than five decades in the making for Brown and his late wife, Kitty.
The Brown collection also featured works by Colin McCahon, Ralph Hotere, Tony Formison, Dick Frizzell and Pat Hanly.
The Last Flight of the Kokako was valued at between $300,000 and $500,000, and bidding started at $240,000.
The auctioneer said the work was a "real star of the collection," and was one of the Browns' most favourite pieces.
"It's a masterpiece, no question about that," she said.
"Worth every cent."
Brown said he was inspired to put the entire collection up for sale following his wife's death in 2016.
He said he was selling the collection to memorialise their time together, and to "clear the decks" of the art they lived with for nearly 50 years.
"Parting with every single item will be painful for me... but not as painful as parting with Kitty," Brown said, in an interview for Stuff in February.
Two Colin McCahon works also sold for large sums, No. 10. ANGELS & BED sold for $299,625 and Rocks in the Sky Series 2 No.4: Seagulls. Rain sold for $360,725.
The collection is estimated to fetch between $1.8 million and $2m over two auction nights, May 17 and 18.
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