Three Goldie portraits go to auction

Atama Paparangi by Charles Frederick Goldie

International Art Centre
Fine Art Auction
April 10

In a rare offering, three paintings by celebrated New Zealand artist Charles Frederick Goldie, will be sold at an auction of important, early and rare art in Auckland next month.

The three works have an estimated value of nearly $1 million and will be offered at an auction by the International Art Centre in Parnell on April 10, which also features several other historically significant New Zealand artists.

Atama Paparangi was a Rarawa chief who lived in the Hokianga. He fought against Hone Heke in Kororareka, now called Russell, in the Bay of Islands in the 1830s and was a favourite subject of Goldie. The two became firm friends during the 1901 royal visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and, for the 1919 oil on canvas being offered in April, Goldie trimmed his friend’s beard to get a better view of his intricate facial moko.

The painting was expected to bring up to $320,000.

An oil on canvas of Hera Puna, the wife of Hori  Ngakapa of the Ngati Whanaunga tribe, who fought alongside her husband in the 1864 battle of Orakau in Waikato, was expected to bring up to $350,000.
The third Goldie to be offered is a reflective portrait of elderly Ngati Awa chieftainess Wiripine Ninia, painted in 1911 and showing her traditional moko and talisman greenstone earrings. It is expected to bring up to $250,000.

International Art Centre director Richard Thomson said rarely were three works by Goldie offered for sale at the same time

“Goldie is recognised as one of the most historically important artists of his time. His work is of an incredibly high technical standard but it also gives us a unique and incredibly valuable insight into the people who made such a contribution to a young country.

“Goldie’s subjects are not recorded anywhere else in such fine and compelling detail and that is what makes him such an important part of our history, not only from an artistic point of view but also in a social context.

“When records in the art world are broken in New Zealand, it is usually a Goldie, Last year his 1892 painting, Kawhena, sold for $733,000, which was the highest price paid for a Goldie at an auction. It was his first of a Maori chief and is considered one of his finest,” Mr Thomson said.

Other renowned artists featuring in the sale include Colin McCahon, Ralph Hotere, Sir Peter Siddell, Evelyn Page, Frances Hodgkins, and Charles Blomfield.

Among the less expensive works there are several gems including  a couple of Toss Woollaston works – McFedrie's Farm (expected price of  $3000-5000) and Near Takaka ($4000-6000), a small (10cm x 15cm) Felix Kelly oil painting, Crystal Palace ($800-1200 and a work by Bill Sutton, Hills behind Picton ($4000-6000).

”We have not had such a significant collection of important, early and rare art at auction for some time but the interest we already have had, from both New Zealand and overseas, shows  how important this level of art is to the historic fabric of New Zealand,” Mr Thomson said.

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