Goldie thieves didn’t know the value of painting, says art expert

Sleep is a gentle thing stolen from a house in Hamilton. Photo / supplied

Richard Thomson, director of the International Art Center, says the thieves may not have known the value of a cherished Charles Goldie painting when they took it.

The theft of the painting from a Hamilton estate this week outraged art fans in the country.

Goldie produced several versions of the painting, which shows a sleeping chief Hori Pakai. One was sold at the International Art Center in 2009 for $ 454,000.

After the center’s director Richard Thomson reviews a police photo of the stolen work, he believes it could be the same.

Thomson told Morning Report that the theft was upsetting to the community and that he had asked anyone responsible for the theft to return it as if trying to sell it, he would be caught.

“They grabbed it and took away a huge chunk of New Zealand art history and they have to return it,” he said.

“It’s sad that someone took it, but it doesn’t necessarily sound like they know what it is, but what else has been taken doesn’t look that interesting …

“It seems strange that they took that and then another painting of no value so it doesn’t seem to me that they know the meaning of it … it seems like an opportunistic theft, or they targeted and grabbed that what else they could do at the time. “

He said the painting had monetary as well as historical value and estimated that this particular Goldie work could reach well over a million dollars.

“We sold a similar painting at auction for $ 1.4 million. So I’d say the value for this example is between $ 800,000 and $ 1.2 million because it’s a really good example .

“I sold a similar one again at auction in 2008 for $ 454,000, but the market has moved a lot since then … It’s now unusual for a Goldie to sell less than half a million. But this is a classic Goldie, a very good example. “”

The work was painted between 1933 and 1938, which made it a late example when the artist was in the 1960s.

“It’s a significant piece because there was really good work being done at the time.”

The thieves, Thomson said, would be unwise to sell the painting and it was in their best interests to find a way to return it.

“It’s absolutely worthless to them. If they think they can sell it in the market or in the international market, they just can’t. It’s hot property and as soon as someone discovers it, it will be reported. So it would be stupid . ” Take it to your local police station, call us or call the radio, take it back. “

Other items from the house were a cutlery set from Koch & Bergfeld. The police asked for information, including what had happened to the items.

The International Art Center had already suffered a serious theft in 2017 when two paintings by Goldie’s contemporary Gottfried Lindauer were robbed a ram.

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