Prior Years Archive:
Bill Hammond will take the crown for the highest jump in prices at auction this year with his previous highest price of $280,000 set in 2013 being surpassed five times in a month at auctions in Auckland. 'Signal Box: A Convocation of Eagles. Cave Painting No. 7' (above), confirmed this trend, increasing from a low start of $350,000 to its hammer price of $560,000, the second highest price at auction for the artist.
By Briar Williams in Auckland on 13-Dec-2021 Exclusive to the AASD

It’s all about birds as works by Bill Hammond and Fiona Pardington fly through their estimates at Art + Object.

The New Zealand art market has seen a few changes in the past two years but the growing preference for internet bidding has most significantly affected the pace and feel of the traditional auction process.   An earlier start time of 6.00 pm for the final Art + Object Important Paintings and Contemporary Art in Auckland on December 7, 2021  confirmed the accepted reality that internet bidding makes an auction slower and a sale that previously may have taken two hours could now easily take three.


C.F Goldie’s 'Hori Pokai – A Sturdy Stubborn Chief' 1919 (above) was a headline painting with great provenance. The estimate of $500-$700,000 was generous given the size of 26 x 21 cm, but after opening at the low estimate, the painting sold for $1,420,000 after 30 bids, setting a new auction record for the sale of a work by Goldie.
By Briar Williams in Auckland on 20-Nov-2021 Exclusive to the AASD

International Art Centre’s final Important and Rare Art auction for 2021 continues the year end surge in art sales.

Heading into the International Art Centre’s (IAC) final Important and Rare Art auction for 2021 on 16 November 2021 in Auckland, I did wonder whether the $14 million worth of art sold by Art + Object and Webb’s over the weekend had possibly emptied the pockets the New Zealand art market and this sale may not have been as bouyant as others held in IAC’s 50th year in business.

The two day Art + Object sale of the Adrian Burr and Peter Tatham Collection on November 13 and 14 of art, furniture and decorative items realised over $15 million including BP, well in excess of any previous art auction held in New Zealand and over 30 individual artist records were set. Michael Parekowhai’s cast bronze and stainless steel 'A Peak in Darien' (above) sold for $1,700,000 setting a record for the highest price at auction and the highest price for a living artist at auction in New Zealand.
By Briar Williams in Auckland on 15-Nov-2021 Exclusive to the AASD

Records broken, highlights too numerous to count – the Adrian Burr and Peter Tatham Collection at Art + Object overdelivers on pre-sale expectations.

Art lovers in New Zealand had a treat in store for them this weekend, with two major but very different collections being offered at Art + Object and Webb’s on consecutive days. Auckland is slowly loosening Covid restrictions, and the weekend offered the first opportunity since August that the auction houses have been able to offer an in-room auction experience, albeit socially distanced and with compulsory mask wearing.

After a long-standing relationship with well-known Auckland couple Adrian Burr & Peter Tatham, Art + Object were entrusted to sell their collection after Adrian’s death in late 2020 (Peter had died a few years earlier). Adrian, a major property developer and Peter an interior designer, had both money and taste and an interest and generosity towards artists and the arts. Their philanthropy was wide ranging from supporting artists directly by commissioning works to supporting the theatre, the Writers Festival and other numerous other charities. Their input will be sorely missed in the New Zealand creative space.

International Art Centre offered Part 1 of the Silich Collection, on 12 October 2021 in Auckland. It comprised 176 lots which had been purchased by New Zealander David Silich over the past 20 years after returning to New Zealand from living abroad for most of his life.  Charles Tole’s 'Oil Tanks' (above), an excellent example of the artist’s hard edged modernism made $45,000 against a low estimate of $25,000 which set a new record for the artist.
By Briar Williams in Auckland on 17-Oct-2021 Exclusive to the AASD

New Zealand modernism leads the way at International Art Centre’s first live online auction.

The New Zealand secondary art market has shown how quickly it can adapt to new ways of working after recent sales at Webb’s and International Art Centre this week which will give confidence to vendors who are thinking of selling. 

Auckland’s current lockdown is sitting at 9 weeks, with no end in sight and both single vendor and major sales looming in October and November, the three Auckland based auction businesses Webb’s, Art + Object and IAC have had to carefully consider their strategies.  Dates have already been pushed out in anticipation of the more relaxed restrictions but with case numbers increasing daily, the possibility of an in-room auction anytime this year in Auckland seems high unlikely.

The sales held at Webb’s and IAC this week would usually have been in-room events, instead both businesses went for the same selling model, a live event streamed through bidding platforms with the auctioneer selling to an empty room, but with phone bidding, absentee and online bidding as per usual.  Auctions have been taking place in this format internationally for art since last year although this was the first time for New Zealand.

By Briar Williams in Auckland on 13-Oct-2021 Exclusive to the AASD

Heritage Auctions First Live Sale Brings Out the Locals In Wanganui

A number of Wanganui locals plus other bidders from the lower North Island were in attendance over the weekend for the first live auction run by Heritage Auctions, New Zealand’s newest auction house.  The 235 lot auction included a mixture of both New Zealand and Australian/ International art and Director Henry Newrick reported a good attendance with the auction room filled to capacity (80-100 people) at stages throughout the day.

Newly established art auction house, Heritage Art Auctions, based in Whanganui, New Zealand will hold its first live auction on 9th October 2021. Director Henry Newrick has had many roles within the art industry in New Zealand over the past 50 years. Amongst the New Zealand works on offer is Peter Siddell's 'The Customhouse Auckland' estimated at $12,000 - $18,000. The sale also includes works by international and Australian artists.
By Briar Williams in Auckland on 01-Oct-2021 Exclusive to the AASD

New Art Auction House – Heritage Art NZ Opens In Wanganui, New Zealand

Henry Newrick has had many roles within the art industry in New Zealand over the past 50 years but opening an art auction house in the regional city of Wanganui will have to rank as one of the more interesting ventures he’s tackled.

The Art+Object sale of Important Paintings & Contemporary Art in Auckland on 10 August 2021 demonstrated that the appetite for Fiona Pardington photographs continues with the two highest prices for the artist set at this auction. 'Davis Kea Wings' (above) fresh from its outing at 'Toi Tu Toi Ora' at Auckland Art Gallery was contested by three phone bidders, the internet and the room, eventually selling to a phone bidder for $111,000.
By Briar Williams in Auckland on 16-Aug-2021 Exclusive to the AASD

Art + Object achieves one of their best sales results to date at their Important Paintings and Contemporary Art Sale.

Art + Object has a busy month ahead with three sales scheduled in August and September. One of those is the highly anticipated Adrian Burr & Peter Tatham Collection which is due to release museum quality works onto the market and most likely break all previous records for art auctions in New Zealand history – watch this space…….

But before that, A+O had an Important Paintings and Contemporary Art sale to sell and the catalogue of 106 lots was a good offering including a mini collection from the Estate of Gordon & Elizabeth Orr, Wellington art collectors who assembled a collection of ‘contemporary at the time’ painting in the 1960s and 1970s. A good crowd of around 100 people plus many more on the phone and internet joined in the bidding to make this one of the most buoyant and successful sales at Art + Object in recent years.

Works by women artists have come to the fore at auction in 2021 and Jacqueline Fahey is one who has seen a significant jump in values. In this sale, three works by Fahey, placed toward the back of the sale had multiple room and phone bidders on each lot with the best result going to 'Can Painting Change Anything?' (above), which realised $24,500 against a low estimate of $8,000 and a great return on the $6,000 which was paid for the work in 2007 at auction.
By Briar Williams in Auckland on 11-Aug-2021 Exclusive to the AASD

Webb’s achieves some good results for previously undervalued artists at their Works of Art sale in Auckland.

A polar blast hit New Zealand and the usually temperate Auckland dropped down to 7 degrees of the night of the Webb’s Works of Art sale in Auckland on 9 August 2021. Aucklanders don’t really like cold weather but despite that, about 75 people braved the chilly wind and rain to watch the sale of the 96 lots on offer. It was one of the best overall sales Webb’s has put together in recent years with a few top end highlights and a good range of more affordable works.

The pre-sale viewing included an exhibition of highlights held in Christchurch which was fitting as some of the most important and interesting works had a Christchurch connection including a collection of works by Leo Bensemann and Tony Fomison (both artists who were based in Christchurch for significant parts of their careers) and Colin McCahon’s Jump E4 which had belonged to Judith Gifford an early trail blazing Christchurch gallerist.

International Art Centre's 50 year anniversary sale of Important and Rare Art in Auckland on 27 July raised $3.485 million on the night with post auction sales increasing the total to almost $4 million. Michael Illingworth’s 'Mr and Mrs Thomas Piss-Quick' (above), by the British born New Zealand artist, was last sold at Webb’s in 2006 for $160,000. Multiple bidders competed for the work which sold for $390,000, well over the estimate of $250,000-350,000, setting a new record auction price for the artist.
By Briar Williams in Auckland on 29-Jul-2021 Exclusive to the AASD

Auckland's International Art Centre marks 50 years in business with a bumper sale.

International Art Centre (IAC) rose to the occasion with their 50 year anniversary auction of Important and Rare Art this week.  The casual, relaxed vibe of the IAC auction room is quite different to other art businesses and is integral to the ongoing success of IAC.  With over 200 people in attendance at Tuesday night’s sale, the numbers certainly rivalled the good old days of the auction business where going to an auction was a social event and clients used to bring their own food and drinks to fortify themselves for time taken to sell the huge amount lots of offer. A number of clients in the room who had been present at the first IAC sale on the 27 July 1971 were acknowledged and welcomed as old friends. A woman came in with her large black dog on a lead and stood at the back while everyone going past patted it and she then casually spent $19,500 on a Fiona Pardington photograph.

Webb's Auckland sale of 'The Sang House' and related art works resulted in the sale of eight of the ten art lots, realising $311,000 although the house failed to find a buyer under the hammer. Ian Scott’s Black Light (above) was from the collection of the home owner and had caught the eye of many, when multiple bidders competed on the work from $5,000 all the way to $12,000 to realise a healthy profit as it was purchased at auction in 2018 for just $2,700.
By Briar Williams in Auckland on 26-Jul-2021 Exclusive to the AASD

Keen Onlookers, Not So Many Bidders at the Auction of The Sang House at Webb’s

A booming art market, a booming property market, an architectural masterpiece and a truckload of great marketing.   The sale of The Sang House and related art works should have been cut and dry but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.  While the ten lots of art sold well, it’s fair to say that star of the show, the architectural 1970s gem fell well short of expectations.

At the International Art Centre sale in Auckland on March 30, 2021 the six works by British artist Banksy realised $2.353 million contributing over 50% of the auction total of $4.384 million. Banksy's 'Keep it Real' (above) sold for $1.455 million and set a record for the highest price paid for a work at auction in New Zealand, and the highest price paid for a work by a living artist at auction in New Zealand.
By Briar Williams in Auckland on 07-Apr-2021 Exclusive to the AASD

Once again it’s all about Banksy… as new records are set in the New Zealand art market

International Art Centre (IAC), celebrating their 50th year in business, commenced their 2021 year the March edition of Important and Rare Art, with six important works by the artist of the moment, Banksy.  If you are a recent arrival to price watching on the secondary market, you may not be aware that works by the elusive British street artist have achieved some of the most dramatic prices in the international market in 2020, and this looks set to continue in 2021.  After IAC sold their first suite of prints by the artist in June 2020 for prices well over-estimates, a steady stream of works have appeared in subsequent IAC sales, often purchased by New Zealanders living in London in the mid-2000s for prices in the hundreds of pounds.  Now his works are bringing enough for a deposit on a house in New Zealand’s overheated housing market and the temptation to sell must be palpable.

Webb’s first Works of Art Sale for 2021 in Auckland on 29 March saw a new record set for the work of contemporary female painter Seraphine Pick. High Rise (above) had engaged bidders on the night across all the bidding channels and sold for $77,000 well above the low estimate of $50,000.
By Briar Williams in Auckland on 05-Apr-2021 Exclusive to the AASD

Women artists provide new records and a point of interest at Webb’s Works of Art Sale

Webb’s first Works of Art Sale for 2021, their premium sales category, hit the market with all the bells and whistles, we’ve come to expect from the business.  A boutique style catalogue, rich in essays, lots of archival and contextual photographs, extra quotes and excerpts of poetry presents more like an art publication than a sales tool.   There were professionally produced videos on Instagram interviewing some of the artists and lots of interesting social media content in the leadup to the sale.

The Art + Object  sale of Important Paintings and Contemporary Art was the first sale in a week of sales taking place in Auckland.  and considering the high quality of the selections of work on offer, this was probably a good call. Lot 59, Colin McCahon’s South Canterbury Landscape (above), sold to an online bidder for $260,000, which was  $10,000 over the low estimate.
By Briar Williams in Auckland on 25-Mar-2021 Exclusive to the AASD

Art + Object’s highly successful $2.6 million sale sets the tone for for 2021

The Important Paintings and Contemporary Art Sale at Art + Object had the first date in a week of sales taking place in Auckland and considering the high quality of the selections of works on offer, this was probably a good call.  For those clients who patronise all three auction houses, it can be a bit of a juggle to decide bidding priorities, and big purchases early on can deplete the funds for works being sold later in the cycle.  Some could argue that the client base is quite different between the three businesses and this may not be a problem and certainly Webb’s looks like they are subscribing to that philosophy, their opening night preview for their Works of Art Sale was held on the same night and time as the Art + Object auction.