Colin McCahon masterpiece sells for record breaking price
With a sale total in excess of 6.6 million dollars, The Tim & Sherrah Francis Collection is the highest grossing art auction in New Zealand history.
Well over 300 collectors turned out to witness history being made. Top sale of the night went to Colin McCahon’s 1969 masterpiece The Canoe Tainui (illustrated) at $1,621,620, the highest price achieved for an artwork at auction in this country.
Previously the most expensive painting sold at auction in New Zealand is Charles Frederick Goldie’s A Noble Relic of a Noble Race. That went for a total price, including buyer’s premium and fees, of $1,337,687 in April.
The art works collected over the Francis’s lives have a combined pre-sale estimate of $5.2m to $7.4m. Other artists represented in the collection include Rita Angus, Toss Woollaston and Gordon Waters.
The Canoe Tainui was purchased in 1969 for $550 and was expected to go for between $1.2m and $2m at the auction.
Art + Object director Leigh Melville said this is one of the last major works from McCahon that sat in private hands. The proceeds from the sale will benefit the Francis’s three children, she said.