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Investors 'gravitate to cultural investment opportunities'

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Webb's Auction House finished a busy week with more than $2,710,606 being traded across their suite of sales. The week of auctions began with a full house on Tuesday for the Important Paintings & Contemporary Art auction, followed by two outstanding sessions of Fine Jewellery & Watches on Wednesday and concluding the following evening the eager Antiques & Modern Design buyers.

With market commentary centred on the potential for a double dip recession and the global stock market shedding significant value, it was uncertain how the local market would respond to an offering of high end collectables and tangible investment works. But as Director Neil Campbell suggested today; "against all expectation, and in this turbulent market, it was interesting to see most of the high value works and objects finding buyers and many pieces significantly exceeding expectation".

The Important Works of Arts sale was set to be a benchmark for the week. Offering an eclectic range of high calibre works including significant contemporary works by Francis Uprtichard, Michael Parakowai, Bill Hammond and Shane Cotton, the sale also presented blue chip opportunities in the historical and modern art fields. Turning over $1,567,0185 it was evident that confident demand from the market for significant works remains a truism across the contemporary, modern and historical periods, as Sophie Coupland, Head of Fine Art Department stated.

Gottfried Lindauer's portrait of Maori chief Ihakara Tukumaru sold for $177,000. This price reflected the quality of the work, its handling and composition and importance of the subject combined. Webb's now holds all three top prices achieved for Gottfried Lindauer's work. Another significant historical work, The Nest by Charles Frederic Goldie also found interest and sold at $171,600.

Two signature works by New Zealand modernists achieved excellent results; Don Binney's Tui Over the Anawhata sold for $145,000 and Bill Hammond's Choreograph Screen reached $166,000. The iconic Andy Warhol Marilyn attracted strong international interest but was won by a New Zealand collector for $67,000.

The contemporary market also stepped up to the challenge and three works by acclaimed, Walters Prize winning artist Francis Upritchard sold with firm competition for both domestic scaled works.

An important solitaire diamond of 5.04ct achieved $194,500 indicating that focus on alternative investment classes extends beyond fine art to precious stones and high quality jewellery pieces.

Top prices across the round of sales

*Including buyer's premium + gst on the premium


Gottfried Lindauer, Ihakara Tukumaru, $177,000

Charles Frederick Goldie, The Nest, $171,600

Bill Hammond, Choreograph Screen, $166,000

Don Binney, Tui Over The Anawhata, $145,000

Colin McCahon, Helensville, $91,500

Charles Frederick Goldie, Sorrowful Moments, $80,000

Grahame Sydney, Pig Root Pond, $75,000

Andy Warhol, Marilyn, $67,000

Francis Hodgkins, Landscape, Ibiza, $55,000

Colin McCahon, Watefall, $45,000


Solitaire Diamond of 5.04CT, $194,000

Ring with approx 3.14ct Solitaire Diamond, $20,000

Approx 9ct Emerald and Diamond Ring, $29,000

Bracelet White and Yellow Diamonds, $14,000

Three Diamond Ring, $13,000

Necklace of South Sea Culture Pearls and Diamond Clasp, $12,000


A group of family medals including an important WW1 Distinguished Flying Cross awarded to New Zealander Samuel Dawson $12,000

Three Piece Chinese Silver Tea Service, $10,000

Antique French Double Bed $5,000

French Marble Topped Chest of Drawers, $5,000

Pair of Crown Lynn Wharetane Bookends, $5,000

A George 111 Tea Caddy from London 1786, $4,200

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