By John Perry in Auckland, on 22-Sep-2016

The A2 Art sale, the second art sale under the new Mossgreen-Webb's banner got off to a good start in Auckland on Wednesday 21st of September with the first few lots in the 158 lot catalogue selling well, despite some early technological problems. They were quickly fixed, but the sale had few real highlights until a 1964 work Mother and Child (lot 37) by Jan Nigro came up for auction. It sold well above the top estimate of $3,000, and after spirited bidding it was finally knocked down for $4,750

The A2 Art sale, the second art sale under the new Mossgreen-Webb's banner, got off to a good start in Auckland on Wednesday 21st of September with the first few lots in the 158 lot catalogue selling well. But clearly Mossgreen-Webb's had saved the best till last, as I came away empty handed, being the under bidder on the third to last lot, a faithful copy of Jean-Etienne Liotard's delightful The Chocolate Maid, (above) which sold for a good price of $4,000 against the estimate of between $500 - $1,000.

Another oil painting of the same subject, Mother and Child (Lot 51 ) but this time painted by the Maori Woman Artist Robin Kahukiwa sold for $3,600

This was followed by a large detailed landscape painting (Lot 53 ) in the best ''chocolate box'' manner by Tim Wilson of Milford Sound (Lot 53 ) which sold to a phone bidder for $11,750 against a top estimate of $10,000

An original signed lithographic print, Arrangement of Jugs, (Lot 60 ) on cream paper by Frances Hodgkins and published in London in 1938 achieved the highest price on the night selling for $15,000 against a top end estimate of $8,500 while Portrait, (Lot 88 ) a rare early work a rather somber portrait of a young woman by the short lived woman artist Rhona Haszard was sold subject to the vendor's approval for $14,000 for the second highest price of the night just under the lower estimate of $15,000

Of the first 100 lots auctioned off by Sophie Copeland very few works ignited the buyers present, and a small number other works broke through the top end of the estimates but all these works were, to quote Theo Schoon, ''small potatoes''. They included Gretchen Aldrecht's Black Piha, (Lot 3 ) sold for $3,100;  Richard Lewer's Tiki (Lot 8 ) for $2,200; John Reynold's Tough Shit (Lot 9 ) for $1,200 and Ben Cauchi's Reverse Self Portrait (Liar) (Lot 13 ) for $2,700

Briar Williams who will be familiar to subscribers of Australian Art Sales Digest has a new role in the Mossgreen-Webb's team as Art Department Manager, and when she was working for Leonard Joel in Melbourne conducted a number of auctions. No stranger to the rostrum she sold the last 58 works with professional style and vigour.

Highlights included a Pat Hanly print Inside the Garden (Lot 127 ) originally produced in 1969 and selling for $300, it sold this time up for a very crisp $1,200, while the third to last lot, a faithful copy of Jean-Etienne Liotard's delightful The Chocolate Maid (Lot 156 ) sold for a good price of $4,000 against a pre-sale estimate of  between $500-$1000.

Clearly Mossgreen-Webb's had saved the best till last, as I came away empty handed being the under bidder..... no Chocolate Maid for me tonight.

All prices shown are hammer prices expressed in $NZ.

Sale Referenced: A2 Art, Mossgreen-Webb's (formerly Webb's), Auckland, 21/09/2016

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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