A treasure trove of art is coming under the hammer, with rumors of a next Picasso

Curators from Webb's Auction House inspected John Perry's treasure trove.

Web Auction House / Supplied

Curators from Webb’s Auction House inspected John Perry’s treasure trove.

Art connoisseurs are making their way through thousands of paintings, artifacts and photographs in an abandoned cinema in West Auckland, hoping to find a hidden Picasso.

They are searching for the treasure he left behind Legendary art collector John Perry – Pop artist, teacher and former director of the Rotorua Museum, among many others – Died June 11, 2021.

Not only did he leave behind a lasting impression on the Aotearoa art world, but he also left a huge collection for art connoisseurs to search through.

Stored in what was once a cinema in West Auckland’s Helensville, Webb’s auction house has taken on the intricate task of sorting out the lots, which will go up for sale over the next few years in a series of auctions – starting next week.

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“It is such a large collection that it is impossible to know exactly what it contains at this point, although I do not doubt that it contains some amazing treasures,” Ben Ehren, Webb’s director of decorative arts said.

“It is the largest collection of its kind ever offered at auction in New Zealand.”

This cinema-turned-warehouse measures over 700 square meters – the equivalent of four tennis courts – and is filled from floor to ceiling with a dizzying array of items.

John Perry has had exhibitions from his collection at Art Center Helensville.

Rani Timothy

John Perry has had exhibitions from his collection at Art Center Helensville.

Erin, one of Berry’s many friends, has been researching this artistic wonderland for the past 10 months.

“John Perry was someone who had a lasting relationship with every auction house in the country,” he said.

“want Everyone in the art industry takes care of the good stuff And we’re doing better than we’ve done in the past.”

Webb’s auction house and the Perry family share a close bond, and the family allowed Webb to sort through Perry’s collection, eventually bringing these rare items to auction.

The pieces will be auctioned for the next two years.

Web Auction House / Supplied

The pieces will be auctioned for the next two years.

“They knew we’d present the set in a way that Jon would agree to, because we know if we change it wrong he’ll turn over in his grave,” laughed Eren.

said Ren One of the other curators, Charles Nino, He tells Erin that space was “not a cinema, but a laboratory where John understands the world.”

“There’s everything, photography, oceanic material culture, Polynesian and African artefacts, indigenous paintings,” he said.

The Webb team is pretty sure Perry had some extra rare pieces up his sleeve, Like the original Pablo Picassoor a piece by French artist Paul Gauguin.

“John let us talk a little bit about what he might shoot us if we acted out ourselves,” Erin said.

“There are things that are not only of national interest but there are pieces that will surprise international audiences as well.

“We wanted this auction to be an auction of people who know John, a representation of who he was as a collector, not just all things high value, a taste of what’s to come.”

There are 700 square feet of items to sort through.

Web Auction House / Supplied

There are 700 square feet of items to sort through.

The auction process will begin at the end of January With 200 items to start with, thousands more to come over several years.

Among those first 200 are items like New Zealand Folk Art Figures, which are valued at around $100, to multiple original pieces by Jack Dale or Paul Hartigan, which can run for $2,000 to $5,000.

The first auction will take place at Webb’s in Oakland on Tuesday, January 31, at 6pm.

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