This collection is significant in a myriad of ways, least of all that it has been carefully built up by a team of two of New Zealand's greatest ever cultural ambassadors.
As a former New Zealand representative to the United Nations from 1978 to 1982 and New Zealand Ambassador to the United States of America from 1988 to 1992, the husband and wife team of Tim and Sherrah Francis (who shared the same year of birth and death of 1928 - 2016), and did much to introduce contemporary New Zealand art and culture to as wider international audience as possible.
Like so many others, their art collecting had very humble beginnings with the purchase of a small landscape painting by Dennis K. Turner in the mid 1950's. Their collection continued to grow and grow from then on, with their primary focus being on ''fresh art''. Their last purchase was a soft felt sculptural work by Peter Robinson They have collected what many are saying is a very unique assemblage of Contemporary New Zealand art works and an important ceramic collection focusing on amongst other things, the humble beginnings of the studio and art pottery movement in New Zealand.
The collection has many stand out features that will equal if not excel the now legendary and record breaking Les and Milly Paris Collection that Art and Object brought to market in 2012
The fine art component of the collection includes an almost complete A to Z of New Zealand painting with everybody from (Rita) Angus to (Adele) Younghusband represented by major works with the pre-sale estimates for Day 1 of the sale set between $3.5 million and $5.0 million.
Day 2 features a comprehensive catalogue of the keystone potters and potteries that contributed to the founding of our own unique ceramic culture.and heritage along with a fine collection of Oriental ceramics established while on a diplomatic post in Singapore
This impressive two day sale of New Zealand's finest art and cultural diplomacy is sure to see many auction records tumble and a host of new benchmarks established.
The team at Art and Object have pulled out all the stops and are producing a comprehensive and handsome catalogue to accompany the sale in early September that will without doubt become an important collectors item and a wonder filled resource for those yet to come. This will indeed be a major landmark auction event in this neck of the woods for a long, long time.