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Big chunky diamonds seized by Customs under hammer

Media release – November 28, 2007

Big chunky diamonds part of $250,000 bunch seized by Customs to go under hammer in Webbs auction in Auckland

Part of a collection of loose diamonds worth about $250,000 and seized by Customs goes under the hammer at a special auction at Webb’s auction house in Auckland next week.

The big chunky undeclared diamonds which come up for auction next Tuesday were discovered by Customs among post and parcels.

The first lot of diamonds sold earlier this year for a total of almost $150,000.

Also going under the hammer are nine lots from the private collection of the grand-dame of New Zealand jewellery Elizabeth Hargrave.

A Crown Lynn ceramic Carbine Statuette of one of New Zealand's most famous race horses and sires will attract big interest from equine followers. The item was commissioned for the Carbine club of New Zealand 1976 as a trophy for the 1976 Carbine Club Stakes.

Of major national heritage significance is a document regarding the Native Rights Bill by Hone Heke when he entered Parliament in 1893.

Heke was responsible for introducing the Bill in an attempt to redress the "ill-advised and unjust legislation of the past" with regards to the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Bill was not accepted by the House of Representatives and this document expresses grievances about the fact. The document could climb to $20,000 at auction.

The most expensive items going under the hammer will be a strong collection of Colin McCahon paintings.

These include a 40 year old painting simply called Brenda, named after his friend Brenda Gamble which may sell for $70,000.

Some of his other works could reach up to $170,000 according to estimates.

A Charles Frederick Goldie oil on wood titled Kapi Kapi or Ahinata te Rangitautini should make up to $150,000.

McCahon’s Canterbury Landscape may hit $200,000. The 1952 oil on canvas was painted after McCahon moved from Nelson to Christchurch.

Michael Smither’s Parihaka, South Taranaki,
and a Ralph Hotere Requiem piece inscribed, signed and dated Port Chalmers 1973-74 may both fetch around $120,000. A Hotere sold at Webbs last year for $260,000.

Of special significance to Aucklanders is a 1991 Peter Siddell called Mount Eden, Mangere. His painting sums up what suburban panoramic Auckland was like at the time. It could make over $65,000.



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