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.