Friday, July 31, 2015


With a low value catalogue comprising just 42 works and with the top estimate at $60,000, Webb’s couldn’t have expected a big win last night. On the other hand, it could hardly have imagined the disaster that unfolded. Nine works sold subject and 26 lots attracted no bid at all so there was a lot of pressure on the remaining 17 percent. The top bid of the night was $20,000 for Colin McCahon’s Kaipara Flats. As the work had a low estimate of $40,000 it was sold subject so there’s a long way to go to get a sale in the morning. The highest bid that realised an actual sale on the night was $16,000 for Toss Woollaston’s The Double Maungatapu. It scraped in just over the low estimate of $15,000. Part of the problem was there were only 22 people in the room. Even with those stalwarts and some phone bids, only around $50,000 worth was actually sold on the night. Even Chris Swasbrook’s two entries failed to get any bids. So a bad night for Webb’s. One good thing that can be said; the auction was only 37 agonising minutes long.