Investors gravitate to cultural investment opportunities during a week of financial turmoil webb's auction report
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.