Artworks that helped shape the childhoods of Split Enz musicians Mike and Geoff Chunn will go on sale in Auckland next week.

The 11 paintings and drawing by New Zealand artists were collected by the Chunn brothers' late parents, Parnell allergist Dr Jerry Chunn, who died in 2013, and his wife Yvonne ('Von') Chunn, who died in April aged almost 90.

Geoff Chunn describes the artists in the catalogue for next week's auction at Parnell's International Art Centre as "the Paint Blacks" - NZ, and mainly Auckland, artists from the mid-twentieth century who have all become household names.

"As Hannibal Lecter said, you covet what you see, so you tend to buy the artists of the city that you live in," he said.

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"I will never forget one afternoon in 1972, sitting among these wonderful pictures in the gallery-like living room of the middle terrace house at the top of Parnell Rd as my brother Michael, with four friends, tried out their new band on me. Split Enz was born," he writes in the catalogue.

"I was the one single audient to their very first performance. Just those paintings and me."

The 11 works are expected to sell for between $168,000 and $242,000 all-up, with the highest price of $50,000 to $75,000 expected for an iconic Michael Illingworth painting dedicated to the poet James K Baxter, A Calvary for Jim. It depicts a Māori male in what may be a pātaka (storehouse) or may be a reference to the crucifixion.

"A Calvary for Jim may be a portrait of the poet as a kind of seer, his brown eyes soulful, and his arm upraised like a prophet or preacher," Linda Tyler writes in the catalogue.

"Or it could be a depiction of the subject in Baxter's poem, The Māori Jesus – minus his blue dungarees."

Michael Illingworth's work, A Cavalry for Jim, combines Māori references with a nod to Christ's crucifixion at Cavalry. Photo / International Art Centre catalogue
Michael Illingworth's work, A Cavalry for Jim, combines Māori references with a nod to Christ's crucifixion at Cavalry. Photo / International Art Centre catalogue

The second-most valuable work, expected to sell for between $35,000 and $45,000, is a painting by Jacqueline Fahey described as "a feminist reimagining" of Manet's 1863 painting Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, which showed two fully dressed men picnicking with two naked women.

In Fahey's version, the two young women are spendidly dressed and the men are naked.

"Of all the works that hung around the family's eyes and ears over the years, Jacqueline Fahey's Luncheon on the Grass got the lion's share of the visitors' comments," Geoff Chunn writes.

"That and Michael Illingworth's A Calvary for Jim. Mind you, an awful lot of those visitors were teenage boys and girls, so no surprise there."

The other nine works from the Chunn family are by Dick Frizzell, Pat Hanly, Colin McCahon, Michael Smither, Peter Stitchbury and Toss Woollaston.

Charles Goldie's painting of Kapi Kapi has been owned by Wellington's V E Donald family since it was painted in 1918. Photo / International Art Centre catalogue
Charles Goldie's painting of Kapi Kapi has been owned by Wellington's V E Donald family since it was painted in 1918. Photo / International Art Centre catalogue

Next week's art sale also includes a recently discovered, 100-year-old painting by Charles Goldie which has been in private ownership since it was painted in 1918.

The small painting, Kapi Kapi, an Arawa Chieftainess, is expected to sell for between $180,000 and $260,000.

The most valuable work in the sale is a large painting by Don Binney, Shag and Vehicular Ferry, expected to sell for $350,000 to $450,000.

Don Binney's Shag and Vehicular Ferry is expected to sell for $350,000 to $450,000. Photo / International Art Centre catalogue
Don Binney's Shag and Vehicular Ferry is expected to sell for $350,000 to $450,000. Photo / International Art Centre catalogue