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Waikato Art Auction Offers Rare Paintings

Waikato Art Auction Offers Rare Paintings By Canterbury Pioneer And Other Famed Artists

HAMILTON, Friday 6th September 2013: A pair of rare paintings by one of New Zealand’s earliest architects; Samuel Coleridge Farr, are about to go on sale in Hamilton. There has only been one known previous public sale of a painting by Farr.

Art lovers will have the chance to bid on the two panoramas of Akaroa, which are probably his most important works known. They will be sold along with 93 other paintings by some of New Zealand’s most esteemed artists, on Monday 16th September at the Waikato Art Auction.

The auction is organised by the Fine Art Society New Zealand and director Grant Bezett says work by Colin McCahon, J C Hoyte and Gottfried Lindauer will also go under the hammer and some paintings are expected to fetch up to $60,000.

Farr’s two painting are valued between $30,000 and $50,000 and Bezett says the artist’s work is extremely rare.

“This pair of early views of Akaroa were given by the artist to his landlady in Christchurch, possibly in lieu of board. The paintings used to hang either side of the fireplace in the lounge. After remaining for over four generations in the landlady’s family, her descendants, who now live in the Waikato, have decided it’s time to sell the paintings,” says Bezett.

Farr was one of Canterbury’s earliest architects, having arrived in Akaroa from England in 1850.

He is renowned for a number of pioneering achievements – he was the first person to legally marry in the region; he designed Akaroa’s first church and New Zealand’s first iron verandas; he started Canterbury’s first Sunday school; he helped stock almost every lake and river in Canterbury with fish; and was instrumental in introducing the bumblebee to New Zealand.

He also designed Christchurch’s famous Cranmer Court apartments and numerous city landmarks. After retiring from architecture in 1890, Farr returned to his love of painting.

“We believe the first of these panoramas of Akaroa was painted some six years after Samuel Farr’s arrival in Akaroa in 1850,” Bezett says. “The second view was painted in 1889 and shows the development that had taken place over the intervening years, much of which was planned and designed by Farr.”

Bezett says registered bidders have already been received for the two Farrs and Gottfried Lindauer’s signed portrait of a Maori woman believed to be Mere Kapa Ngamai II from Taranaki (estimated value $45,000 - $60,000).

Other notable works for sale include a signed watercolour by Colin McCahon entitled Towards Auckland 2 and a large J C Hoyte signed watercolour depicting the Caples River near Queenstown.

Bezett says much of the art offered for sale has come from various estates and private collections around the Waikato.

“The economy seems to be finally showing signs of recovery and the art market is reflecting the increased levels of confidence, with new records continuing to be set both here and internationally.

“It is particularly pleasing to have increasing numbers of local collectors becoming more aware that astute buying and collecting of art can be both enjoyable and rewarding.”

Bezett believes the price estimates to be realistic and says a number of lots will be sold without reserve.

All artworks can be viewed at Aesthete Gallery in Hamilton from this Saturday (7th September) onwards between 10am – 4pm, and from 9am – 1pm on the auction day itself.

The Waikato Art Auction will begin at 6:30pm on Monday 16th September at the RSA rooms on Rostrevor St, Hamilton.


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