New Zealand silversmiths are generally known for their jewellery; Peter Woods is the notable exception.

Born in Eltham in 1952, and trained under the noted Danish-born, long New Zealand-resident silver guru Jens Hansen, he is one of the few New Zealanders to specialise in what experts call hollow-ware - trays, coffee and tea pots, tableware and so on.

His stylish, elegant, beautifully finished work has brought a number of commissions, including the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games baton (now in the Auckland War Memorial Museum collection).

His works seldom come on the auction market. So the small but notable collection offered by Cordy's last month attracted much attention and commensurately high prices.

Top of the list was a suite of table silver comprising tray, coffee pot and teapot with characteristic puriri handles, sugar and cream. The set was illustrated in Helen Schamroth's 1998 book 100 New Zealand Craft Artists; Cordy's estimate was $3500.

So there were gasps when, with spirited bidding, it climbed to $16,500 ($18,820 with premium and GST). There were more gasps when the next four Woods lots - trays and tureens - went for a total of $29,250 ($33,363), against total estimates of $6900.

Earlier in the sale, offerings of a rather different nature also saw high prices. Two rhino horns went to Asian bidders for $11,000 and $9250 respectively ($12,547 and $10,550), against estimates of $3500 and $2000.

The International Art Centre achieved yet another good price for a Goldie, with The Aristocrat reaching $252,000 ($287,431) and Webb's achieved an auction record price for Don Binney, with his striking Kotare over Hikurangi from 1965 selling for $220,000 ($250,932).

Bassett Rd machinegun murderer Ron Jorgensen's dubious reputation as an artist has evidently fallen. His self-portrait which sold at International Art for $8250 in 2005 made only $6000 this time.

Art+Object achieved a record auction price for Shane Cotton, with his big work Wake going for $205,000 ($233,823).

An iconic work by Michael Smither, Boys Fighting over Pink Plastic Gun, failed to reach the lower estimate of $220,000 on the night but sold subsequently at something below that figure.

Objects from John Perry's eclectic collection made around $92,000, with notably high prices for wooden artifacts from the Pacific, including $2100 for a pair of Niue dance wands. A sperm whale jawbone with 27 teeth, collected from a stranding in the Kaipara Harbour in 1974, fetched $4500.

This month Art+Object will be offering a fascinating collection of some 60 works by Ralph Hotere, from a private Wellington collection.

Mainly on paper, they were given to a friend and colleague in 1968 and have never been seen in public.

COMING UP
September 14: Webb's, contemporary art.
September 15: Cordy's, antiques.
September 21: Webb's, Asian art.
September 22: Webb's, New Zealand and foreign art.
September 23: Webb's, jewellery.
September 24: Art+Object, private Hotere collection; Webb's, Maori and Pacific art, Frances Ryman collection, antiques and decorative arts. .
October 13: Cordy's, antiques.
October 21: Webb's, modern design.
October 22: International Art Centre, important, early and rare art.