Charles F Goldie painting, unseen for 100 years, Tue, 16 Nov 2021

C F Goldie
C F Goldie

A Charles F Goldie painting will go under the hammer in Auckland after being unseen by the public for more than 100 years. Hori Pokai - A Sturdy Stubborn Chief was painted by Goldie in 1919 and purchased for $56 as a wedding present by a war nurse. The painting was considered by art experts to be "among the finest he has ever done", Thomson said. "The Goldie has never been seen in public and the sale will be the first time it has been on the market in more than 100 years." The painting could fetch up to $750,000 but that was a conservative estimate because "it had such an interesting provenance" and could easily bring much more, he said.

Goldie died in 1947 and his works regularly sell for record prices, with a painting in 2018 selling for $456,800, nearly double its predicted price of $260,000.

"It is not a large painting but it is an exceptionally fine work by Goldie and some believe it ranks among his very best."

Hori Pokai was described as a "colourful character" from the Thames district. He was thought to have been 90 when he died about 1921.

The Goldie painting will sell alongside another significant artwork, a print of Girl with Balloon by British street and graffiti artist Banksy.

Banksy Girl With Balloon
Banksy Girl With Balloon

Thomson said it could sell for up to $350,000 but because of the "provenance and global popularity" of Banksy, it was also difficult to predict.

"It is one of the unidentified British street artist's most important and sought-after works.

"It is a print of the work which created art history in 2018 when it sold for $1.9 million at Sotheby's in London moments before it was partially destroyed in a shredder built into the frame, as it hung on the auction room wall," he said. Last month the shredded version, which Banksy renamed Love is in the Bin, sold for $35 million, also at Sotheby's, he said. There had already been "very strong interest and anticipate very robust bidding" for both the Goldie and the Banksy works, which would go to auction at the art centre in Parnell at 6pm on Tuesday, Thomson said.

The centre was open for viewing under alert level 3, step 2, and bids would be taken via phone, tablet, desktop or laptop.

"The digital bidding platform has shown in recent sales under Covid restrictions to be particularly effective and buyers are very comfortable bidding from the comfort of their homes or offices," Thomson said.