A Don Binney painting has sold for more than half a million dollars at auction this evening, making it the most expensive Binney work ever sold.

The large piece - La Chute d'Icare, Pureora: Last Flight of the Kokako - was valued at between $300,000 and $500,000.

It sold for $455,000, or $534,625 including a buyer's premium of 17.5 per cent.

It is part of the Warwick and Kitty Brown collection of modern art, with all 300 pieces being auctioned this evening and tomorrow through Mossgreen-Webb's.

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Binney - who died in 2012 - was famed for his paintings of birds.

The 1979 oil painting of a kokako in flight was painted as a fundraiser for an environmental group, in response to concerns about logging threats to the bird's habitat.

Renowned NZ artist Don Binney at a 2004 Auckland Art Gallery exhibit of his work. Binney died in 2012. Photo/NZHerald
Renowned NZ artist Don Binney at a 2004 Auckland Art Gallery exhibit of his work. Binney died in 2012. Photo/NZHerald

As well as the Binney work the auction included artworks by Colin McCahon, Tony Fomison, Pat Hanly and Ian Scott.

Nearly 100 lots sold this evening at a total of more than $2,200,000.

Other paintings sold tonight include a Fomison at $117,500, a huge price for the artist.

Warwick and Kitty Brown started collecting in the mid-1960s, picking up works by their friends and contemporaries.

After Kitty died last year Warwick Brown decided to sell the collection as a way to "memorialise [the] marriage".

Brown's favourite work in the collection is Own Drum by Don Driver.

The work had an estimated worth of $6000 - $8000 but sold tonight for three times its original estimate - $21,000 plus buyer's premium.

Own Drum by Don Driver sold for three times its expected price at $21,000. Photo/Supplied
Own Drum by Don Driver sold for three times its expected price at $21,000. Photo/Supplied