Fine Art Auction sales boosted by the Paris effect

Gordon Walters, Painting No 7
Bill Hammond, At the Flood
Peter Siddell, Opening

The Fine Arts auction sales have had a spectacular year with the auction houses all reporting good sales.

In Auckland alone the three major auction houses had sales of around $20million which is 25% up on the previous year. This increase however could be due to the Paris Effect,

Art and Object’s sale of the Paris Family collection boosted their sales by $4.65M to a total of art auction sales of $7.7M.

At this auction session they sold a number of high value paintings including Gordon Walters works  Painting No. 7 ($433,000) and Mokoia ($415,000). 

Other  results included Colin McCahon’s No. 6 ($29, 000), Michael Smither’s The Family in the Van ($234,500), Ralph Hotere’s Requiem for Tony ($234 ,00) and Michael Illingworth’s As Adam and Eve ($234,500).

Te Papa acquired several of the works from the auction including Gordon Walters’ Painting no 7 ), Michael Illingworth’s As Adam and Eve Brent Wong’s Mean Time Exposure and Peter Robinson’s Boy Am I Scarred Eh

Art and Object established new record high prices at auction for a number of artists including  Michael Smither, Robin White, Peter Robinson, Brent Wong, Allen Maddox, Michael Parekowhai, Philip Clairmont, Seraphine Pick, Peter Stichbury and Julian Dashper,.

Webb’s auction house reported total sales of $16.17M, with $7.085M generated through their fine art department. This figure is made up of fine art auction sales of $5,544,887 and $1,540,162 of private treaty sales facilitated by the company.  

In 2011, Webb’s achieved sales total at auction of $4,748,177. This years sales of $5,544,887 represents a year on year increase of 16.7%.

Among the major sales at Webb’s were; Charles F. Goldie - No Koora te Cigaretti, A Portrait of Mihipeka Wairama, Tuhourangi ($337,406.), Bill Hammond - At The Flood ($228,750), Colin McCahon - Landscape Theme and Variations (G) ($199,325), Ralph Hotere - Black Window – Alumin Politik  ($187,600), Robin White – Porirua 1 ($125,812), Michael Smither - Kawaroa Paddling Pool ($99,662)

The International Arts Centre reports a steady year with a turnover of around $5million.  Each of their Important, Early & Rare auctions achieved sales of over $1million. Their highest in July achieved $1.6m and saw five works sell above the $100,000 threshold.

Among their high selling works was Opening by Sir Peter Siddell from the collection of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. This sold for $218,000 in July - more than double the previous record for the artist,

IAC also sold C F Goldie's Relics of a Bygone Age for $284,000 and $100,000 was paid for a Hoyte watercolour in July, the highest price for a Hoyte in 8 years, the second highest price on record.

Two Don Binney works made $173,000 and $108,000 in our July auction. A record $20,500 for a Vera Cummings was achieved in November.

In November the Carey's Bay Hotel Collection of Ralph Hotere assembled by NBR’s former owner Barry Colman all sold under the hammer the highest price being $183,000 for Aramoana,

Still very strong bidding for works by Peter McIntyre, Edward Fristrom, Don Binney, Garth Tapper, Felix Kelly, Frances Hodgkins, Patricia France, Mervyn Taylor, Charles Blomfield, C F Goldie

Richard Thompson of IAC notes that their buyer’s premium is still 12.5%+GST at its main auctions while other auctions houses are now charging 15%+GST ,

It is clear that demand remains firm at the top end of the market and supply continues to be volatile. However, the experienced collector is prepared to pay a premium when the right opportunity arises and as a result there has been a rise in the average price per painting being paid by the market.

Neil Campbell of Webb’s notes that “In 2011 the industry’s average value of a painting sold was $10,200, this increased in 2012 to $11,800 marking a 15.6% increase in the average sale price at auction (refer AASD). Reviewing Webb’s top 100 works sold at auction in 2012 the average sale price increased to $53,276 per painting.

Similar increases are seen when looking at Webb’s top ten results. In 2011 the top ten average price for a work sold at by Webb’s was $121,911, in 2012 this increased to $180, 402, representing a 47% increase year on year. Such a market dynamic indicates that the sector could perform well in 2013 and not require another Paris Effect.

For the full list of the ten highest prices achieved at auction in New Zealand    

For the full list of artists and prices  

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