An unrecorded painting by famous New Zealand artist Gottfried Lindauer has sold at a record price in an auction on Wednesday.

The portrait of Chief Renata Kawepo sold for $227,000 on Wednesday night at Dunbar Sloane.

The previous highest price a Lindauer portrait sold for was $198,000 in 2000.

Dunbar Sloane director of fine and applied art Helena Walker said the painting was bought by a direct descendant of the sitter.

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"It couldn't be going to a better home," she said.

Dunbar Sloane were "absolutely delighted" with how well the portrait sold.

"It was a New Zealand record by some distance.

The winner of the auction also received the original purchase receipt for the artwork, signed by Gottfried Lindauer. Photo/supplied
The winner of the auction also received the original purchase receipt for the artwork, signed by Gottfried Lindauer. Photo/supplied

"It's been in that same family since it was purchased in 1896."

The painting was sold with the original purchase receipt signed by Lindauer.

The auction grossed in total over $1.3 million and produced a number of other auction records and outstanding results including one of C F Goldie's first recorded Maori portraits, Tamehana.

This seminal portrait, previously owned by well-known Hawke's Bay businessman and art collector Ernest Vogtherr, achieved $322,000.

"The market was incredibly buoyant," Walker said.