Webb’s lockdown auction hits $ 1 million
The New Zealanders’ insatiable appetite for extraordinary art goes beyond all borders. With the current blocking conditions, Webb’s pulled out all the stops to make this auction a reality. It’s one of our most successful auctions in this category and we ran it under lockdown. ”- Charles Ninow, Head of Art at Webb’s
- Webb’s hosted New Zealand‘s first virtual art auction on Sunday October 10th.
- Total sales exceeded $ 1.3 million.
- Webb’s achieved remarkable results under lockdown conditions.
- Over 1000 bidders were registered in two different sales.
- A total of 215 works of art by various New Zealand and international artists were included.
Webb’s Auction House put an excellent double catalog of works of art up for auction on Sunday. The works of art and selected auctions were presented under the unique conditions of a virtual auction. Works by many of the country’s leading artists went under the hammer, and over 1,000 bidders registered to take part. The bidders had to fight for the works of art via telephone and internet platforms, only with socially distant personnel in the auction room.
The sale began with a spate of bids for the first lot, a 1987 screen print by Pat Hanly titled Doing It. 36 bids were registered before the gavel hit $ 7,702. The pre-auction estimate was $ 2,500 to $ 3,500. This delusional bid sets the tone for the auction.
The results that were received would have been excellent under normal live auction conditions. That they were achieved with a virtual format, while the Aucklanders remain largely banned, made them downright remarkable. Webb’s presented one of its most successful and record-breaking art auctions, which was also recognized as the first virtual art auction in New Zealand’s history.
“Webb’s is at the forefront of innovation in the New Zealand auction scene. It’s not a secret. But we’ve taken it to another level with this virtual auction. I’m very proud of the team and happy for our sellers and buyers. ”Charles Ninow.
Visits to the works of art, an essential aspect of every art auction, were handled virtually. Under the conditions of level three blocking, the factories were installed for superior and secure contactless viewing for customers, including video viewing. The results spoke for themselves.
This brilliant result shows the determination and professionalism of Webb’s. It is also in line with current trends. In the past 18-24 months, the market for high quality New Zealand art has grown tremendously. While our gaze is fixed on our own shores, the art market is exploding. New Zealanders recognize the extraordinary wealth of our art, our stories, our cultural heritage.
An important part of this cultural heritage is the rich history and tradition of the Chinese New Zealanders. For the first time, Webb’s Art Department has teamed up with Asian Art Department to create a joint proposition. A number of works by leading Chinese contemporary artists with New Zealand connections have been added to the sale. This turned out to be the formula for success. Reagan Lee’s 2020 ink on paperwork, Fate2020 Pandemic (Beethoven), was the night’s top-selling work of art. It came in at $ 156,445, well above its pre-auction estimate of $ 100,000 to $ 150,000
A number of works by international artists have been added to the sale. A painting by Australian legend Sidney Robert Nolan attracted a lot of attention. The untitled work featured one of Nolan’s signature iron-clad Ned Kelly figures. It had a pre-auction estimate of $ 4,000 to $ 6,000, but after 21 bids the gavel fell to $ 23,000.
Webb’s continues to advocate the work of Tony Fomison, and tonight was no exception. A humble Fomison work entitled Vulcan the Ugly Making Something Beautiful reached an excellent price of $ 65,000, well above its pre-auction estimate of $ 35,000-45,000.
“Webb’s has developed an amazing market for Fomison’s paintings. We have set and reset records for his incredible work and continue to see clear benefits. ”
The Art to Date and Select catalogs are designed for newer collectors. They offer excellent works of art at affordable prices. Another sign of Webb’s industry leading expertise and professionalism in the arts, the results of this auction far exceeded expectations.
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