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
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.