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When lot 93 was offered for sale by experienced auctioneer Ben Plumbly at the Art + Object sale of Important Photographs & Contemporary Art in Auckland on 11 August, you could sense the excitement when the bidding opened at the upper estimate of $15,000 and quickly doubled.
But it didn't stop there: bidding continued to $45,000, then to $60,000 finally ending at $62,000.
All the action was over a rare and excellent example of Theo Schoon's unique gourd growing and carving. The gourd carved in the early 1960's and entitled Incised Gourd with Kowhaiwhai Motif (lot 93) was decorated with a beautiful restrained Maori inspired design. The gourd had been in the collection of Jim Allen a highly regarded sculptor and art educator on both sides of the Tasman Sea since the mid 1960's.
Auckland's newest auction house / gallery or should that be gallery / auction house Bowerbank Ninow held their 6th. auction in Auckland on 9 August 2017 which introduced a couple of innovations for which they should be congratulated.
Firstly, they limited the number of lots to 100, which I think is just about the right number for a specialty auction.
And secondly, the sale was focussed on drawings, or perhaps if you want to split hairs, works on paper as four of the lots were prints, graphics or multiples.
The second of four sales in a week of high powered auctions was the International Art Centre's Important and Rare sale held in Auckland on 8 August, and it got off to a good start with the first few lots selling well.
A rare and spectacular small bronze sculpture by Paul Beadle (1917 - 1992) of Elam Art School fame, and formerly Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland, entitled Rooms To Let (lot 6) sold for more than double its upper estimate at a whopping $31,000.
Typical of Beadle's lost wax sculptures that were inspired by the figurative Ashanti gold weights from West Africa, of which he held a large collection, Rooms to Let established a record price at auction for the professor.
All four of Auckland's major art auction houses have a sale scheduled this week in a clockwork-coordinated series from Monday to Thursday, .
How do they do it without treading on each other's toes, I wonder?
A year after buying the tattered remains of the Webb's auction empire, Mossgreen have certainly turned around the fortunes of what was once New Zealand's most prestigious auction house, with a number of very successful sales over the last 12 months.
Request a valuation to find out the market value of your artwork, or a pre-purchase report on an artwork you are considering purchasing. Our art market experts, who are approved valuers for the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program, will provide you with a quick and professional assessment of the artwork.
They will analyse the available data and put your artwork into perspective by giving you a price range of comparable works sold by the artist.