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Best auction of New Zealand art ever likely

Best auction of New Zealand art ever likely

The best auction of New Zealand art ever to be presented will be held at Webb’s Auctions in Auckland on April 8.

Webb’s estimate a Colin McCahon could fetch up to $850,000, a Goldie could make $600,000 and a rare Joseph Turner could reach $250,000.

The discovery in New Plymouth of a watercolour by the celebrated English painter, JMW Turner, has been fresh boost to the auction.

The 1836 Turner work was purchased in London in 1947 from the prestigious Bond Street dealers, Thomas Agnew & Sons for the sum of two hundred guineas. The original invoice comes with the painting.

The Rotterdam subject is rare as it is the only known watercolour of a Dutch scene by Turner, who ranks as one of the greatest of all English painters.

His Rotterdam painting is expected to attract considerable international interest. Estimates of $200,000 to $250,000 are being quoted. Auctioneer Peter Webb said the April 8 sale had more important high quality, high value paintings than any previous auction in New Zealand.

``If the impending war with Iraq doesn’t greatly impinge, the sale total should be a record for New Zealand,’’ auctioneer Peter Webb said today.

``The McCahon is the artist’s most significant painting to appear on the auction market for 10 years.’’

Also in the sale is one of the finest oil paintings by Frances Hodgkins to have ever been offered at auction.

Koru paintings by Gordon Walters and a large portrait of the Waikato Chief and renowned carver, Te Aho, by Charles Goldie which is similar to one hanging in the Auckland Museum are other auction features.

In addition to the New Zealand paintings, the catalogue includes the art collections of the late Joseph and Jocelyn Tidswell of Parnell, Auckland. Among the collection is a large ceramic dish by Pablo Picasso.

Colin McCahon’s painting titled No.2 has far reaching significance. He positioned the number two over the land to symbolically refer to New Zealand and the two main races living here. Conceptually and symbolically No. 2 is a very advanced work in terms of New Zealand abstraction.

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