Henry Newrick is the director of Heritage Art Auctions in Whanganui. He is also the author of New Zealand Art Auction Records published in 1973. An updated version is in production.
Recently we announced that Henry is prepared to undertake simple valuations, based on current auction prices for any artworks that you might have.
The response was quite overwhelming. It seems that many of our readers have paintings and prints with no idea as to what they are worth. Although Henry has agreed to respond to all inquiries, here at Midweek we have space for only some of the more interesting ones. Until further notice this column will appear every two weeks.
Below are Henry's answers to two of the inquiries that have come in since the last column.
Charles Frederick Goldie
Barb emailed me a photo of a print by arguably New Zealand's most famous artist, Charles Frederick Goldie. It was of a smiling Māori man in European dress wearing a bowler hat. She noted the print had been in the family for three generations, but knew nothing of it and wondered whether it had any value.
The fact this print was quite old takes it out of the category of more-recent prints. I was able to tell Barb that the title of the print is A Good Joke and, if one of the originals, was made in 1905 and mechanically signed by Goldie.
These prints generally sell for $2000-$4000 and have been known to make $5000-plus. Last year, in spirited bidding, a record was created at auction when one sold for three and a half times the $4000 estimate to make $14,000. This was only because on that occasion two people (with plenty of money) both decided they wanted it and went head to head until one gave up. This is all it takes to create a record price.
Eion writes to say, "What a great service you are offering in conjunction with the Midweek". Thank you Eion, and judging by the number of inquiries that have come in (38 so far) there are a lot of people in Whanganui with questions on art.
Eion has three oil paintings done by a distant relative, EG Edwards, who lived from 1875-1946. The subjects of each work are kauri trees, which were painted in the early years of last century. Most of ED Edwards' paintings sell below $1000, but when his various paintings of the Pink and White Terraces come to market they fetch much higher prices, the record being $28,000 for a pair of paintings sold this year in Auckland. I'll say more about the Pink and White Terraces in a future column.
In the meantime, I would confidently value the kauri tree paintings at $1000-$1500 each – subject to inspection.
If you have any paintings, watercolours, prints, engravings etc and are not sure what they are worth in today's market you may email Henry@HenryNewrick.com with details of the artwork you want valued. For this he requires the artist's name; type of work (oil, watercolour, print, etc); size and if possible a photo. If you don't have an email address you may post the information to: Henry Newrick, Heritage Art, PO Box 4085, Whanganui 4541. When sending an inquiry please include a contact phone number in case he has any questions. All inquiries will be acknowledged and some of the more interesting ones will be published in this column.
Finally, if you'd like a free PDF copy of Henry's original New Zealand Art Auction Records, with artist biographies, just join the Heritage Art mailing list at www.HeritageArtNZ.com and you will be sent a download link.