New Zealand artist Alvin Pankhurst, who won his first art award as a seven-year-old at school, has achieved a record price at a sale of important early and rare art in Auckland.
His 2006 oil on acrylic on canvas, called About Time, sold for $55,000 at an auction at the International Art Centre last night.
The painting, which was estimated to make up to $30,000, was one of three owned by the late Eric and Kathy Hertz.
Mr Hertz was the chief executive of 2degrees Mobile, the third largest mobile phone company in New Zealand. The couple died when their aircraft crashed into the sea near Kawhia Harbour in March.
The painting of a carving on a West Coast beach was Mr Pankhurst’s first Maori painting. It featured Tiki, an important leader of the Ngati Whakaue people.
The sale also featured a 1910 oil by renowned New Zealand artist Charles Frederick Goldie, which has been privately owned for the last 70 years. The painting of Arawa chieftainess, Rakapa, sold for $234,500.
However, a 1978 acrylic on canvas by the late Sir Peter Siddell, A Portrait of Tony and Patsy, failed to reach its reserve price.
International Art Centre director Richard Thomson says it is one of Sir Peter’s finest works. It was expected to sell for up to $220,000 and Mr Thomson says they are talking to several interested parties.
A very early water colour of Auckland’s Princes St by Colonel Robert Henry Wynyard, an early Auckland administrator, sold for $31,500. It was painted in 1849.
Two paintings by Ralph Hotere fetched more than the estimate. Winter Solstice, Lake Mahinerangi, painted in 1981, sold for $44,000 and Mungo, painted in 1985, went for $36,000.
Mr Thomson says sales of important, early and rare art always attracted a high level of interest and this sale was no exception.
“There was very spirited bidding on many lots and buyers were very discerning. There was some exceptional talent on offer tonight and many buyers will be very happy.
“There were a lot of paintings which sold at the top end of the estimate. There is always very keen interest in good quality art,” he says.
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