Les and Milly Paris art auction realises $3.7m in New Zealand

The remarkable art collection of Les and Milly Paris has seen brilliant results at a dedicated September 19-20 sale in Auckland, which was boosted by bids from the country's national museum.

Gordon Walters Painting No 7
Gordon Walters is renowned for his representation of Maori culture

The Paris' art collection has been steadily amassed by the couple over five decades, and now features some of the finest works from New Zealand's top artists.The Te Papa Tongarewa museum snapped up four of the collection's finest works at a combined total of almost $1m, with Gordon Walters' Painting no 7 selling as top lot at $360,000, against a $358,000 high estimate.

The museum's chief executive, Michael Houlihan told New Zealand's stuff.co.nz: "Les and Milly were always very generous in loaning their works for public exhibitions, and we are pleased to be able to acquire some of their favourites."

Milly Paris also commented on the sale: "I am very pleased that some of the paintings have now gone into a public collection and will be seen by residents of and visitors to Wellington, my home town, I congratulate Te Papa on their choices, and I know that my dear late husband, Les, would be very honoured to know of their final resting place."

Also selling among the highlights of the sale was Micheal Illingworth's As Adam and Eve, which brought $195,126 and Brent Wong's Mean Time Exposure, which saw a 24.1% increase on its $70,500 estimate, selling for $87,787.

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