By John Perry in Auckland, on 19-May-2017

Day Two of the Warwick and Kitty Brown Collection was reserved mostly for works on paper and smaller oils from their extensive collection. Opening with the classic Colin Mc Cahon ''mulitple'' from the Barry Lett Galleries of 1969 this powerful screenprint originally purchased for $3.00 in 1969 (12 for $36.00) sold well at $4,600 against its pre-sale estimate of $3,000 - $4,000 setting a standard that was to continue unabated for the remainder of the sale, creating some amazing prices for the lesser works on paper.

Although not a work on paper, top price for Day Two went to a painting by the reasonably prolific artist, Dean Buchanan. Entitled Large Flower Still Life (Lot 100 ) the hotly contested lot sold for $7,500.

Two very fine pencil drawings by the now Dunedin based artist Jeffery Harris, Nutty and Fruity at Okains Bay (Lot 107 ) and Two Families (Lot 126 ) both sold well above their respective estimates for $4,000 and $4,400 respectively.

An unusual small landscape oil by woman artist Mary McIntyre sold well at $5,600, Mary McIntyre along with Ian Scott were both represented by eight works each in the two day sale.

The feeding frenzy continued with another print from the Barry Lett Gallery Multiples Series by Robert Ellis. Motorways (Lot 152 ) which usually sells for around $500, sold for a staggering $2,300, and an intaglio print entitled Cloud Landscape (Lot 164 ) by Marilyn Webb from Dunedin sold for $2,100 against a pre-sale estimate of $400 - $600.

This was followed by another record breaking price for a small drawing by Rodney Fumpston, with Home Straight (Lot 167 ) inscribed 'for Kitty' selling for $3,000 against the pre sale estimate of $300 - $500. It was clear members of the extended family wanted certain special works at any price.

Strangely, the only work in the sale by an internationally recognised artist failed to attract much bidding. A colour screenprint by the American Robert Bechtie, 68 Nova pl. 5 (Lot 174 ) sold for only $800 against the estimate of $600-800, surely the bargain of the long night where lots of records for lower priced works tumbled as the good crowd of collectors vied for a piece of this major collection.

The second night added a further $251,000 (IBP) to the sale total, with 98% of the works sold by number and 262% by value, reflecting the high prices (or low estimates),

In all, the sale raised $2.982 million (IBP) over the two days.

But wait ... there will be more. At the end of this marathon event, auctioneer Sophie Copeland announced that a further 100 works are to be released from the collection at a future date through Mossgreen-Webb's and oh yes, I have it on good authority that Warwick Brown is already in a collection rebuilding mode... Glory be to God for artists and collectors!


All prices shown are hammer and expressed in $NZ unless otherwise stated.

Sale Referenced: The Warwick & Kitty Brown Collection, Day 2, Mossgreen-Webb's (formerly Webb's), Auckland, 18/05/2017

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.