Newly-discovered Goldie painting fetches $384,000 at Auckland auction

A newly-discovered painting by New Zealand artist Charles F Goldie has gone under the hammer for $384,000.

The portrait of Ahinata Te Rangituatini, also known as Kapi Kapi, was painted in 1918 but remained unknown to the art world until recently when the owner decided to sell.

Kapi Kapi was a member of the Tuhourangi tribe and survived the 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera near Rotorua.

The century-old painting went under the hammer for the first time at Parnell's International Art Centre last night.

Richard Thomson, auctioneer and director of the International Arts Centre, started the auction with an opening absentee bid of $180,000.

Bidders wasted no time as bobbing paddles pushed the price past $300,000 in a matter of minutes.

The two-ing and fro-ing came down to two bidders, who inched it up to the final bid of $384,000.

The new owners paid more than $450,000 dollars in total, including auction commission.

The couple, who are Goldie collectors, did not want to be identified but told RNZ they were very pleased with their purchase.

They said painting would join two other Goldie portraits in their Auckland home.

Auctioneer Richard Thomson said it was not a surprise that collectors were chasing the painting.

"Goldie is gold, there's no question, and one like that that hasn't seen the market for a hundred years; of course there's going to be collectors chasing it.

"I'm sure the vendors will be very pleased but I've just spoken to the buyer and he's absolutely delighted and his wife couldn't be happier."

He said while the price is a probable record for a "small Goldie", other paintings had sold for more.

"They have changed hands for a lot more. We have sold them for well over a million dollars but I must admit that was a real battle and a really good price for a small Goldie. You're buying provenence, you're buying condition and you're buying history. When something hasn't seen the market for 100 years collectors are going to be all over it."

He said he understood the buyers had a connection with Kapi Kapi.

Goldie, who died in 1947 aged 76, is thought to have painted Kapi Kapi many times.

The portrait of Ahinata Te Rangituatini, also known as Kapi Kapi, dating back to 1918. Source: International Arts Centre