Key Points:

A rare "masterpiece" of New Zealand art to be auctioned next month has attracted huge interest from investors, even in a depressed economy, says the auction house.

Renowned artist Evelyn Page was 74 when she painted the oil entitled Nude in a Doorway.

It was her last major nude before arthritis began to affect her painting.

The painting was expected to sell for between $150,000 and $200,000 at an auction of important, early and rare New Zealand art at the International Art Centre in Auckland next month.

But director Richard Thomson said that since the sale catalogue had been published there had been huge interest and it could sell for $250,000.

The 90cm by 61cm painting was part of the estate of playwright Bruce Mason.

Another rare painting, a watercolour of Gallipoli after New Zealand and Australia troops landed in 1915, would sell for between $25,000 and $35,000, Mr Thomson predicted.

The painting was by Horace Moore-Jones, who did Simpson and his Donkey.

A Charles Goldie, Tumai Tawhiti, a chief of the Ngatihiwi Ngatitenaakau, was expected to bring $350,000.

An 1860 Edwin Harris watercolour, New Plymouth Under Siege, was expected to sell for up to $80,000.

Paintings of the famed Pink and White Terraces by Charles Blomfield were being offered by the estate of his grandson, Alfred Charles Yeoman, who died in 1999. They had never been put up for sale before. Two of the major works of the terraces were expected to bring $35,000 each.