By John Perry in Auckland, on 12-Apr-2017

With the recent theft of two paintings by Gottfried Lindauer fresh in the minds of those in the art world, Mossgreen-Webb's had two fine paintings by Charles F. Goldie on offer in their sale of Important Paintings and Contemporary Art in Auckland on 11 April, and without a shadow of doubt they certainly stole the show attracting serious bidding from all quarters. Mossgreen-Webb's had compiled an extensive catalogue of 102 works including the sell down of yet another art buying collective, this one the Art Capers Collection.

With the recent theft of two paintings by Gottfried Lindauer fresh in the minds of those in the art world, Mossgreen-Webb's had two fine paintings by Charles F. Goldie on offer in their sale of Important Paintings and Contemporary Art in Auckland on 11 April. As expected they were the highlight of the show, selling to the same buyer for just under $1.2 million (hammer) with Ka Pai Te Kai Paipa, Portrait of Te Hei, A Maori Chieftainess (above) achieving $740,000 hammer against estimates of $500K to $700K.

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 striking small self-portrait oil by Leo Bensemann entitled Self Portrait Grey Coat (Lot 25 ) sold well for $26,000, just over the top estimate of $25,000 .

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.

Sale Referenced: Important Paintings & Contemporary Art, Mossgreen-Webb's (formerly Webb's), Auckland, 11/04/2017

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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