The auction got off to a slow start and it wasn't until a quarter of the way through that the tempo picked up. A small carefully crafted cubist construction of the paper producing mill town of Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty (Lot 23 ) by Charles Tole sold just over the top estimate for $26,000.
This was followed by Michael Parakowhai's cast bronze sculpture (part of a series of seven unique cast bronzes) of a sapling lemon tree in its grow bag, The Moment of Cubism 2010 (Lot 24 ). Looking, for all the world like a $25 sapling from the local garden centre, it sold for $26,000, just above the low estimate. .
A small diamond shaped painting of the French artist George Rouault by the rough diamond of the art scene, Tony Fomison (Lot 29 ) bucked the trend and was offered at $30,000 but attracted no bids and was passed in.
It was a different story when the first of two Charles F. Goldie portraits was put under the hammer. This small oil on canvas portrait study of a young Te Arawa boy caught catnapping painted in 1919, (Lot 30 ) measuring only 24.5 x 19.1 cm, was offered at $200,000 and around 25 bids later was finally sold to a Remuera antique dealer and his client in the room for $440,000 to loud applause after a protracted bidding war between room and telephone..... a curious phenomenon when a serious price is paid for a work of art
The same couple were also given a rousing round of applause when the second Goldie, Ka Pai Te Kai Paipa, Portrait of Te Hei, A Maori Chieftainess (Lot 34 ) was sold to them. Starting at $400,000, and it took over 30 bids in the room and on the phone before being hammered at $740,000 to complete the sale.
Painted in 1941, this second Goldie was one of his last paintings, and the subject, Te Hei of the Ngati Raukawa tribe, was of one of his favorite sitters. The painting had been in the one family since at least the 1970s, and had recently been repatriated from Scotland.
The couple had won ''the double'' by purchasing two Goldies in one evening for a hammer total of just under $1.2 million plus the buyer's premium of 17.5 % plus GST.
Of the two Colin McCahon paintings on offer, a strong minimal abstraction of a Kauri tree (Lot 32 ) from 1965 failed to sell with only one bid of $80,000 being recorded against an estimate range of $100,000 to $150,000.
Although the sale had a good range of both highs and lows I am sure the team at Mossgreen-Webb's would have been very pleased with the night's results as they endeavour to re-establish their place in the crowded Auckland market. .
This endeavour will certainly be assisted by the large Warwick and Kitty Brown sale scheduled over two days next month, and that sale looks set to establish some new high water marks in the record books on this side of the Tasman.
Published prices realised before after-sales are that the auction grossed $1.86 million (IBP) selling 57% by number and 102% by value, the latter figure being due to the sale of the two Goldies which accounted for around 76% of the sale total.