By John Perry in Auckland, on 02-Jun-2016

Art and Object held their New Collectors Art sale in Auckland on 1 June, at their Abbey Street rooms, in the shadow of the Auckland Art Fair. A good crowd of Aucklander's braved the cold to attend the sale to see 237 lots go under the hammer, and with a sell-through rate of around 100 lots per hour by auctioneer Ben Plumbly the sale was completed by around 9 p.m.

Art and Object held their New Collectors Art sale in Auckland on 1 June, at their Abbey Street rooms, in the shadow of the Auckland Art Fair. A good crowd of Aucklander's braved the cold to attend the sale to see 237 lots go under the hammer. The smallest work in the sale attract the most spirited bidding. Peter Stitchbury's untitled and undated portrait on a lawn bowl (above) got plenty of bids and was one of the few lots in the auction that broke through the top estimate of $7000 selling for $8250.

As with every auction, you can bet your bottom dollar there will be a surprise or two when so many lots go under the hammer, and this sale was no exception

The big surprise for me was to see the smallest work in the sale attract the most spirited bidding on the night. Peter Stitchbury's untitled and undated portrait on a lawn bowl (Lot 17 ) it certainly got plenty of bids and was one of the few lots in the auction that broke through the top end estimate of $7000 selling for $8250

The other lot that created a buzz when its number came up was a fine large painting on jute by Gavin Hurley of the young John F. Kennedy entitled J.F.K. Senior as a Boy (Lot 109 ).  The painting, from 2005, had a pre-sale estimate of $7000-$10,000. The bidding started at $5,000 and quickly rose to $12,750 a pleasing result for Hurley's work at auction, as few of his larger painting have filtered on to the secondary market at this stage.

There were lots of bargains in the sale and a good example was a great nine panel painting by Richard Lewer on pegboard entitled I Can't Stop Swearing (Lot 108 ), an exclusive text message painting featuring some great challenges to the viewer with some bold true confessions including ''I have a VICIOUS Tongue'' '' I have Touched Myself In A Passionate Way'' and ''When I Do GO To Church I NOD OFF.'' It sold on the night to a happy bidder for $6,250

A large oil on canvas, Theatrically Lit, (Lot 92 ) by Dick Frizzell, originally commissioned for the now defunct Mercury Theatre in 1983 and more recently in the collection of the well known Mollies Boutique Hotel sold at the bottom end of the estimate of $16,000. Not everybody's cup of fine art this early well constructed staged play of theatrical symbols reminded one of the early metaphysical works of Italian painter Giorgio De Chirico.

Top price for an analogue photograph went to a classic Laurence Aberhart gold toned selenium print from 1999 (Lot 37 ). It sold for $3,000 as did a Frank Hofmann vintage print of a smoking cigarette (Lot 44 ) while a small format print by Peter Peryer of Taranaki (Lot 45 ) sold for $1,600, slightly below the top estimate of $2,000

In the digital selection of photographic works on offer a large format work of South Island artist Grahame Sydney's Duck Pond Omakau (Lot 40 ) sold for $2,700

International prints featured 10 Lots in the auction with top prices going to a Pablo Picasso's Flying Dove (in Rainbow) (Lot 128 ) for $3100 and Salvador Dali's Horse of Troy from The Dalinean Horses  (Lot 133 ) for $3,000

While a number of lots being passed in and subject to the vendors approval, plenty of negotiations will be taking place over the next few days to get works into new collections.

Sale Referenced: New Collectors Art, Art+Object, Auckland, 01/06/2016

About The Author

John Perry is known locally as a collector / consultant / curator/ educator and artist and is a former director of the Rotorua Museum of Art and History. For the last 20 years has worked as an antique dealer specializing in ''man made and natural curiosities'' from an old art deco cinema on the outskirts of Auckland. Over the last 16 years he has developed a multi million dollar collection of 19th and 20th century artworks for the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust. He recently donated 120 artworks from his collection in various media to the East Southland Art Gallery in Gore. A committed ''art o holic'' he continues to develop collections of New Zealand and International fine art / folk art / ceramics and photography for future usage in a private/public ARTMUSEEUM of NEWSEELAND, not to be confused with Te Papa Museum of New Zealand.

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