Unseen Goldie comes out of hiding place for art sale after 100 years

A $ 56 painting of Goldie purchased as a wedding gift by a wartime nurse for her husband shortly after returning from WWI fighting, will be on public display for the first time in over 100 years when will go on sale at an auction art center in Auckland next month.

Hori Pokai – A sturdy and stubborn leader was painted by Goldie in 1919 and has been in the same family since shortly after World War I, when Sibyl Carr, who treated wounded soldiers at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, reportedly dealt directly with Goldie. She paid £ 30 ($ 56) for the painting as a gift to her husband, Austin Carr. Goldie is considered one of the best Maori Elder Painters New Zealand has produced, and the painting for sale is considered by art experts to be one of the best he has ever made.

This is the main feature of a large and rare art sale at the International Art Center in Parnell, Auckland on Tuesday, November 16, which will also include Girl with a ball, one of the most popular prints by British street artist Banksy.

The Goldie has never been seen in public and the sale will be the first time it has been on the market in over 100 years. Before the war, Sibyl Carr (then Sibyl Greig) and Austin Carr knew each other. Carr enlisted in the Auckland Mounted Rifles and Greig made her own way to England where she enlisted in an Australian Army nursing unit.

Carr landed in Gallipoli in 1915 and then served in Palestine. Greig arrived in England in 1916 and within three days of his enlistment he was in France where 300,000 British, French and German soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme and over a million were wounded.

They married in England in 1917. After the war Carr became a successful and respected Auckland businessman.

The director of the International Art Center, Richard Thomson, said it was expected that the painting could fetch up to $ 750,000, but that was a conservative estimate and because it was one of the finest paintings that Goldie had produced and which had such an interesting provenance, she would easily bring in a lot more.

“Not only is it signed and dated by Goldie, but it also bears the name of the first owner. SA Carr, stamped on the back. Because it has never been publicly displayed since it was completed by Goldie in 1919, it is practically a new find.

Hori Pokai has been described as a “colorful figure” and the last Maori in the Thames District to have a full face tattoo. He is believed to be 90 when he died around 1921 – two years after Goldie completed the proposed job next week.

He was an avid storyteller and would often relate how his heart affairs with women or other men’s partners often brought him to the brink of death, including once he and an abandoned husband fought with spears.

Mr Thomson said Goldie painted Pokai about 10 times and A tough and stubborn leader had the potential to be one of Goldie’s most popular paintings with bidders.

“It is not a large painting, but it is an exceptionally fine work of Goldie and some think it is among her best.”

Goldie died in 1947 and his works regularly sell for record prices.

The other significant book from next week’s sale, Balloon girl, by British street and graffiti artist Banksy, could sell for up to $ 350,000, although Mr Thomson said that due to Banksy’s provenance and global popularity it was also difficult to predict .

It is one of the most important and sought after works of the unidentified British street artist. This is a copy of the work that created art history in 2018 when it was sold for $ 1.9 million at Sotheby’s in London moments before it was partially sold destroyed in a shredder built into the frame while hanging on the wall in the auction room.

Last month the shredded version, which Banksy renamed Love is in the trash sold for $ 35 million, also at Sotheby’s.

Pest Control, which Banksy established to verify his work, issued a certificate of authenticity for the work during next week’s sale.

“Banksy’s popularity is a phenomenon in the art world. There is a very powerful yet subtle message in his work that resonates with his fans in a way that we have never seen from any artist before.

“We have already had a very strong interest and anticipate very robust tenders for the work of Goldie and Banksy.”

As part of the relaxed Covid 19 restrictions announced by the government on Monday, the gallery is open for viewing, and bids next week will be accepted on the International Art Center’s auction platform, either by phone, tablet, desktop or laptop.

“The digital auction platform has proven to be particularly effective in recent sales under Covid restrictions and buyers are very comfortable bidding from the comfort of their home or office,” Mr. Thomson.

Images of both works can be downloaded from: www.internationalartcentre.co.nz

or the works can be viewed at the International Art Center at 202 Parnell Road, Auckland.

The sale will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16.

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