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NZ record price for Maori cloak sold at Webb's

Media release – April 13, 2006

New Zealand record price of $123,750 for Maori cloak sold at Webb’s

A New Zealand record price for a Maori cloak was confirmed today by Webb’s art auctions in Auckland.

Webb’s sold a 19th Century Kiwi feather cloak – at a new national record price of $123,750 at their latest auction, Peter Webb of Webb’s said today.

``Two phone bidders competed for the ``kahu kiwi’’ from the opening bidding at $25,000, to see it finally secured by a determined private collector.

``We have found the art market has bounced back to buck the trend of any softening in the economy.

``Despite continued negativity or lingering talk of a recession, the art market remains buoyant and has in some instances strengthened dramatically. ‘’

The Webb’s recent sale was the strongest art auction of the last calendar year, reinforced by the auction’s gross turnover of $3.1 million.

The market rebounded so strongly after a soft 2005, which is testament to a positive outlook from buyers and also an increasing willingness on behalf of vendors to meet the market.

New Zealand’s pre-eminent artist, Colin McCahon provided the litmus test for the top-end of the market.

His The Calling of a Christian sold for $179,648 – a price well over double that ever paid previously for a McCahon scroll painting at auction.

The top selling lot of the evening was Koru 3, which went for $353,590 - the highest price for an artwork at auction in this country in the last three years.

Koru 3 was the most major McCahon to be offered on the open market since Webb’s sold No. 2, almost three years ago to the day.

McCahon’s A Kauri Tree, Titirangi sold under the hammer for$85,546 as did Northland for a very strong $273,750.

Further solid sales included Frances Hodgkins’ Mother and Child ($91,250) Don Binney’s Pied Shag at Devonport Ferry ($14,828), Peter McIntyre’s Coastline near Tutukaka ($20,530) and John Barr Clark Hoyte’s View of Auckland ($22,812).

Charles Frederick Goldie’s Complacency: Portrait of Takarea Te Heu Heu ($119,765) and Russell Clark’s Picking Corn, Hokianga ($79,843) also fetched firm prices.

``The overall sale constituted a remarkable success. Outside of a seemingly depressed property market and a rapidly depreciating dollar, the art market appears, after nearly two years of softening, to be heading north again,’’ Webb said.

``We can’t wait to see now how the market will react at our next major art auction on June 27.


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