2013 - Year in Review Brochure

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Vintage Car & Bike Sale

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Webb's specialists talk about the sales they've curated especially for you - A3 Art: Aleksandra Petrovic

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Webbs Important Paintings & Contemporary Art - Video Preview 28 Nov 2013


Watch Charles Ninow discuss selected highlights from our forthcoming sale of Important Paintings and Contemporary Art.

Click here to watch the video.

Contact: Sophie Coupland
PH +64 9 529 5603

Contact: Charles Ninow
PH + 64 9 529 5601

Contact: Rachel Kleinsman
PH + 64 9 524 6804 More >>

Peter McLeavey Book Launch & Webb's Important Paintings Preview: Auckland

Auckland book launch: Peter McLeavey: The life and times of a New Zealand art dealer

Webb’s has much pleasure in hosting the Auckland launch of Jill Trevelyan’s biography: Peter McLeavey: The life and times of a New Zealand art dealer. The book launch, which will coincide with the preview of Webb’s Important Paintings & Contemporary Art sale, will be held at Webb’s on Wednesday 20th October at 6pm.

Over the past half‐century, art dealer Peter McLeavey has befriended and championed a who’s who of New Zealand artists and for the first time, he has made his private papers available to award‐winning biographer Jill Trevelyan. From the rich sources of information in letters, diaries, exhibition files and in‐depth interviews, Jill Trevelyan has written Peter McLeavey: The life and times of a New Zealand art dealer.

The book offers insights into the artists McLeavey has represented for more than half a century including Colin McCahon, Toss Woollaston, Len Lye, Milan Mrkusich, Michael Smither, Gordon Walters, Michael Illingworth, Don Driver, Robin White, John Reynolds and Yvonne Todd.

Speakers on the night of the launch will include Jill Trevelyan, Olivia McLeavey, Te Papa Chief Executive Michael Houlihan, and artist John Reynolds. The author will be signing copies of the book on the night.

The evening will be catered with canapés by Toto and wines from Terra Sancta winery, Arrowtown.

Where: Webb’s, 18 Manukau Road, Auckland
When: Wednesday 20 November, 6pm – 8pm
RSVP: hwinskill@webbs.co.nz ref McLeavey in subject

The discount code to buy the book online from Te Papa is WEBBS


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Exclusive Rum Goes Under the Hammer - 4 November 2013

Webb’s are pleased to be presenting at auction in New Zealand a single bottle of a luxury blend of the world's most exclusive rum. Only 20 bespoke decanters are available worldwide, one of which will be included in our forthcoming Fine & Rare Wine auction on 4th November. Angostura anticipate this decanter to achieve in the vicinity of $30,000.  The decanter and presentation box are unique collectors items; designed by Asprey of London, jeweller to the Prince of Wales.

Angostura explain that the production of this rum involves just as much art as science and has been a labour of love for the Angostura Master Blenders who have fifty years experience. The project has taken six years of meticulous work with seven of the brand’s most rare and precious rums making the final recipe.

The youngest rum is 17 years old and all of the rums in the blend have been aged in once used American Oak Bourbon casks on site at Angostura’s distillery in Trinidad.

John Georges, Master Distiller at Angostura said, “There was no set recipe when we started this process. We have experimented with a number of rums that had the characteristics we felt deserved to be prominent.

“Legacy by Angostura is the ultimate expression of Angostura rum.  We set out to create the greatest sipping rum ever produced and we believe we have achieved something that is both unique and unequalled. Once these 20 bottles have been sold, no more of this liquid will be available, so it’s a truly unique opportunity."

View Lot

For further information please dont hesitate to contact Simon Ward, Webb's Fine & Rare Wine Specialist PH + 64 21 642 277.

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Important Paintings & Contemporary Art Wellington Preview


Thursday 14 Nov 6pm - 8pm

The Young

2/7 Hawker Street, Mount Victoria, Wellington.

On Thursday the 14th of November we would like to invite you to our opening of a special Wellington preview of highlights from our upcoming auction of Important Paintings & Contemporary Art.

The exhibition will include Bill Hammond’s large-scale masterpiece Farmer’s Market, dated 2009. Delicately rendered in gold pigment, this painting belongs to the artist’s celebrated series known as the Cave Paintings and, with a published estimate of $300,000 - $350,000, has the potential to set a new auction record for a living New Zealand artist.

Also of note is the inclusion of Gordon Walters’ Genealogy; one of the finest works by the artist ever presented to the auction market. Walters’s iconic Koru paintings are extremely rare and, with an estimated value of $390,000 - $470,000, this work has the potential to set a new auction record for Gordon Walter’s practice.

The auction will present two important paintings by Charles Goldie: One of the Old School, which carries a published estimate of $210,000 - $270,000 and Te Hei, A Ngati Raukawa Chieftainess which carries a published estimate of $195,000 - $240,000. Both works were produced during the artist’s sought after 1900 – 1920 period and serve as sensitive renderings of aging rangatira,emblematic of the enduring relationships that Goldie cultivated with his sitters from the outset of the 20th century. A rare portrait by Gottfried Lindauer, Mrs Huria Whakamairu, Wairarapa, of 1876 considered to be a magnum opus of the artist’s oeuvre will also be on view. The Whakamairu whanau were a high-ranking family of the Wairarapa; Huria was a relative of Ihia Whakamairu, who lived just outside Masterton at Manaia, and witnessed the sale of the land on which Masterton was founded.

On View
Fri 15 Nov 10am - 5pm
Sat 16 Nov 10am - 3pm

The auction of Important Paintings & Contemporary Art will be held atWebb's, 18 Manukau Rd, Newmarket, Auckland 6.30pm.

RSVP to hwinskill@webbs.co.nz

Enquiries to Charles Ninow
Ph: 524 5601
Carey Young
Ph: 021 368348
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Record Price at Auction

Last night at Webb’s Auction House in Auckland, a magnificent pair of 19th century Chinese carved rhinoceros horns exceeded all expectations when they fetched $797,300.

The finest and rarest example of a Chinese antique ever offered on the New Zealand market, the pair of horns carried a pre-sale estimate of $120,000 - $150,000 figures in line with results for similar horns sold on the international market. This is one of the highest prices ever achieved for antique carved rhinoceros horns globally and is the highest price ever achieved across the New Zealand antique market. The sale price exceeded the high estimate by 454%.

The owner is ecstatic with the price and delighted that they followed Webb’s advice to decline several pre-sale offers within the estimate range. A room of stunned bidders watched as the price climbed while five bidders were engaged up to the $500,000 level and two bidders took it from there and fiercely fought to win the horns.

Global demand is extremely high for carved rhinoceros horns and scarcity has driven prices to unsurpassed levels over the last decade. Prices have rocketed over the past decade, with a more than 400% average increase being driven by exceptional demand from wealthy buyers in the Chinese market. The strength of the market today is also linked to the immense rarity of these objects: it is believed that there are no more than 3,000 to 4,000 extant carved horns worldwide.

These richly intricate decorations represent the auspicious Chinese symbols of beauty, perseverance, healing and longevity. The tradition of rhinoceros-horn carving dates back at least as far as the eighth century AD. Historically, two properties were believed to be contained within the material: firstly, a medicinal healing power which had the potency to cure fevers, rheumatism, gout and an array of other medical ailments (this continues to make the horn an expensive component of traditional Chinese medicine practice in the 21st century); secondly, its ability to change colour in the presence of poison. The symbols of healing and longevity depicted on the present carvings are, therefore, of special significance to the perceived salutary benefits of rhinoceros horn, which led to its use in the production of highly prized drinking vessels. Eventually, these carved horns evolved from their original libationary forms into purely decorative objects. Items of great beauty, they were available only to the wealthy and illustriously important, and demand was such that, at the time of the Ming Dynasty, the price of rhinoceros horn exceeded even that of gold.

The present horns were formerly in the collection of Sir John Budd Phear (1825 – 1905). Sir John was a High Court judge in Ceylon and a noted anthropologist who wrote various articles and a book entitled The Aryan Village in India and Ceylon. His family owned Marpool Hall, Exmouth, and they gifted the large Phear Park to the city of Exmouth. Sir John’s son Gilbert Phear (1877 – 1955) was an engineer in the Indian service in Ceylon and migrated to New Zealand in the early 20th century. He married the present owner’s grandmother and the horns have passed down by descent. The value of such notable and distinguished provenance is high given the present-day existence of a black market for rhinoceros horns.

For more information and high resolution images contact:
Neil Campbell
021 875 966
09 529 5607

NZ Herald Breaks the News




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