A Kaitaia man hoping to sell items that belonged to an infamous New Zealand art forger believes he has the biggest Goldie collection in the world.
He means works by the late Carl Feodor Goldie, the copyist who changed his name from Karl Feodor Sim, not the early New Zealand portraitist Charles Frederick Goldie.
After a forgery conviction in 1985 for selling his copies as original paintings, Sim changed his name so he could legally sign his work as CF Goldie.
The Kaitaia vendor of the memorabilia, who asked to be identified only as Peter, had hoped for $120,000 in an on-line auction for the items that Goldie/Sim's sister gave him after the famous forger died in 2013, aged 89.
No bids were made at all in the auction but Peter said he will relist the collection soon.
"I knew Carl for about 20 years. When he passed away his sister gave me these things. A lot of them are just photocopies but there are letters people had sent him, notebooks, all sorts of things.
"You could say it's the biggest Goldie collection in the world."
Among the items is a pencil sketch Goldie/Sim did of Peter shortly before the artist died in an Auckland rest home, he said.
There are also letters Goldie sent to himself, dated 7/7/1977, 8/8/88 and 9/9/99: "Just so he could have those special dates stamped on the envelope."
During his lifetime Goldie made money from selling his own original work and also from his "copies" of masterpieces, including one he allegedly sold for $350,000.
It was part of the myth about Goldie/Sim that he was always broke, Peter said.
"He used to have race horses. He gambled. He had plenty money come and go in his time."
Peter said if he doesn't get a good price when next he tries to sell Goldie's belongings, "I may as well keep them".
"Art dealers didn't like Carl and won't touch his stuff, but he was a New Zealand icon in the art world and a real character," he said of his old mate. "This stuff is priceless to the right collector."