Goldie’s painting from the 1900s sells for over half a million dollars
Charles F. Goldie’s painting “Memories” Rakapa, an Arawa chief, has sold for over half a million at an auction in Auckland. Photo / Provided
A painting of an Arawa chief by legendary New Zealand artist Charles Frederick Goldie sold for over half a million dollars at an auction in Auckland last night.
‘Memories’ Rakapa, an Arawa chief, was painted by Goldie in 1910. The wāhine had written many favorite reo Māori waiata (songs).
Originally from Otaki, Rakapa married Arawa and her waiata were and remain the songs of Rotorua kaumātua (old Maori) as well as those of the Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Raukawa.
Rakapa’s family by marriage, fought for the colonial government during the New Zealand Wars of the mid-19th century.
Goldie chose to paint Rakapa on at least five occasions, three times in 1910 and twice in 1911.
The starting price for the painting was $400,000, and the work attracted eight buyers. The winning bid was $450,000; the price then rose to $540,540 after including the buyer’s premium and GST.
The sale was organized by auctioneer, International Art Center director Richard Thomson, who said Goldie was New Zealand’s distinguished Maori portrait painter.
“Without a doubt, he captured his sitters ‘as they were’. He is the most sought after artist of the post-20th century.
“It has proven time and time again to be a solid investment for those looking to invest outside of other volatile and unpredictable markets.”
Thomson said the center has already sold three of the artist’s works, each of which sold at auction for more than $1 million.
“Last night was one of his smaller pieces, but equally sought after.”
Goldie was considered the “best painter of kaumātua” and important people. He died in 1947.
The painter’s earlier artworks include the portrait of an Ngāpuhi chief which sold for $1.8 million in April.
The sale of ‘Important and Rare Art’ at the International Art Center featured other highly regarded artists such as Gottfried Lindauer, whose oil painting Girl with Gourd was purchased for $290,000 (excluding premium purchase and GST), well above its estimated starting price of $220,000.