A greenstone replica of America's Cup has sold for almost $90,000 at an Auckland auction today.
Te Ha o Aotearoa, a 7/8th scale replica of the cup made from solid Kahurangi pounamu, was sold by auction house Dunbar Sloane.
The artwork, which weighs 36kg, was commissioned in 1999 by Auckland company Creativision, which had a licence to produce greenstone America's Cup products for that summer's regatta, held in Auckland.
It was made by Hokitika's Mountain Jade Company, with principal carvers Ross Crump and Bevan Climo and polisher Brant Travis completing the bulk of the work.
After the competition the ownership was passed to three Creativision investors who originally tried to sell it for $200,000.
But after years of touring around the country - including as part of an exhibition at Wellington's Te Papa - it wasn't sold.
Dunbar Sloane snr put a lower estimation - between $50,000 and $70,000 - on the piece in a bid to attract buyers.
The piece was sold for $77,000 which was increased to $89,000 with the buyer's premium.
"There were a few people keen to buy it for $30,000...but you've got to be a fairly rich person to start bidding $89,000."
Mr Sloane said he was surprised the bidding went so high. "I thought it would be lucky to get $50,000-$55,000. I was delighted."
It was currently unknown who had purchased the piece.
Set on a wooden base of native kauri timber, the original pounamu boulder was excavated from Big Bay, South Westland.