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Mehrtens, Marshall (paintings) go under the hammer

Mehrtens, Marshall (paintings) go under the hammer in 25th anniversary major art auction

Paintings of All Blacks Andrew Mehrtens and Justin Marshall will go under the hammer at a special 25th anniversary charity auction in Christchurch on March 11.

Watson’s Auctions are staging the major auction to highlight their 25 years as one of New Zealand’s leading auctioneers. Mehrtens and Marshall have agreed to the oil paintings being commissioned by Christchurch-based Russian artist Alexander Smirnov.

The two All Blacks said they wanted proceeds from the paintings to go to Child Cancer.

Auctioneer Barry Watson said paintings of leading sports people were rare and always sought after.

``We wanted to have the Mehrtens and Marshall paintings because these two guys have been icons not just for Canterbury rugby but also for New Zealand for almost nine years.

``This is World Cup year and we couldn’t think of a better way of celebrating our 25th anniversary than to start with paintings of these guys.’’

Mehrtens has scored 932 points in 66 tests for the All Blacks since making his debut against Canada in Auckland in 1995.

He was New Zealand’s player of the year in 1999 and has sights of playing in his third World Cup tournament in Australia later this year.

Marshall is the most capped All Blacks halfback and his 22 tries are the most by any All Blacks halfback. A former All Blacks captain, Marshall has played 60 tests since 1995. His last All Blacks outing was in the 30-12 Bledisloe Cup clinching win over South Africa in Durban on August 10 last year. He is seeking to return to the All Blacks squad after missing the end of season tour to recover from injury.

Other paintings going under the hammer at the 25th anniversary auction in March include Dora Meeson, Sydney Lough Thompson, Tom Esplin, Blyth Fletcher, Tony de Latour, Annie Elizabeth Kelly, Sue Cooke, Michael Smither, Peter Robinson, Margaret Stoddart, Michael Ponder, Cora Wilding, Fillippi Lupi, Olivia Spencer Bower and Joanna Braithwaite. Watson’s record for the highest price paid was for an Australian painting.

Knud Bull, a famous Australian shipwreck painting, was sold to the Australian government in 2001 for $244,750.

Watson’s have also sold paintings by other famous artists including Doris Lusk, Margaret Stoddart, Peter McIntyre, Rudy Gopas, Tom Esplin, Ester Hope, Sydney Lough Thompson, Ralph Hotere, Sir Tosswill Woollaston, Pat Hanly, Bill Hammond, Michael Smither and Richard Killeen.

Barry Watson said the March 11 auction will be one of the finest seen in Christchurch.

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