Record price for painting from Dame Kiri Te Kanawa's collection
A painting from Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s art collection fetched a record $218,000 at a fine New Zealand art auction last night.
The New Zealand opera singer’s 1998 Sir Peter Siddell oil of Mt Eden village was bought by a private buyer, who paid more than double the previous record for a Siddell painting sold at auction.
Bids were placed from around New Zealand and some from overseas.
International Art Centre director Richard Thompson had expected the painting to go for up to $165,000.
He says the price reflects the mood of art lovers, who are often not influenced by the state of the economy.
“Fine art has always been a good investment and we have found time and time again that even when the economy is under pressure there will also be buyers for quality art simply because it is like having money in the bank.
“That is aside from the appeal of this work because of the fine artistic merit shown by Peter Siddell. It was one of his most significant paintings,” says Mr Thompson.
The painting is described as "a suburban mosaic of villas and bungalows", which include the Mt Eden shopping village where he lived.
Sir Peter died last year, aged 76.
Mr Thompson days Dame Kiri had owned the Siddell painting for more than 10 years but decided to sell it because she likes to keep updating and changing her collection.
Last night’s auction featured one of the best collections of fine New Zealand art to be offered for sale for some time – many from estate and some from storage, where they had been for 50 to 100 years.
“At the moment really good pictures are hard to come by and when they come up, quality always sells. It shows you if you buy the best you just can’t go wrong.
“It was one of the most action-packed sales on the Auckland art scene for a long time and I feel privileged as an auctioneer to experience such excitement,” Mr Thompson says.
A 1984 oil painting by Don Binney of Karekare Beach sold for $173,000 and a rare example of Goldie’s early work, Study of Still Life, painted in 1890 when Goldie was only 20, sold for $183,000.