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Jorgensen painting a feature of major art auction

Jorgensen painting a feature of major art auction

An oil portrait by famous New Zealand inmate Ron Jorgensen is one of the many works of significant interest at a major art auction in Christchurch this week. A Christchurch woman visited Jorgensen in prison and sat for him in her bridal frock after a wedding ceremony.

``The bride and groom then left Christchurch to live in the USA,’’ auctioneer Barry Watson said today. Jorgensen took up painting in prison. He painted the bride and signed it in 1977.

He and John Frederick Gillies were jailed for life for the
1963 Mafia-style machinegun murders of rival sly-grog house operators George Walker and Kevin Speight at Bassett Rd, in Remuera, Auckland.

The Jorgensen painting called The Bride is expected to reach only $1000.

However, an Alan Pearson painting should fetch up to $25,000 at the auction. Pearson is one of New Zealand’s leading artists and his Martin Johnson portrait could be the biggest selling item among more than 200 works at Watson’s auction on November 20.

A Pearson painting sold in Christchurch earlier this year for more than $20,000.

Another lot bound to attract substantial interest is a painting of Jack’s Hut in the Southern Alps by famous crime writer Dame Ngaio Marsh.

Marsh, is remembered for her crime fiction and dramatic arts. The main theatre at Canterbury University is named after her. She was born in 1895 and died 20 years ago.

``Very rarely do we see one of her works come under the auctioneer’s gavel,’’ Mr Watson said.

Other sought after works will be a Sydney Lough Thompson oil valued at around $18,000 and a William H Pike British painting dubbed the Inebriated Speaker.

A Sir Toss Woollaston oil of Cobden Bridge and Mt Davie in Greymouth could reach more than $20,000.

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