21 Sep 2012

Well-known private collection fetches $4.5m at auction

1:12 pm on 21 September 2012

One of New Zealand's best-known private art collections has been sold at an Auckland auction, reaping $4.52 million.

Major New Zealand artworks from the collection of Les and Milly Paris were sold on Tuesday and Wednesday night at Art and Object.

Managing director Hamish Coney said on Friday he has never seen so many people come to an auction.

But he says the Paris collection is legendary, as there are no other collectors like them.

Mr Coney says the couple began buying art in the 1960s and built up a collection that included works from Don Binney, Gordon Walters and Michael Smither.

He says Milly Paris, who is widowed, was thrilled by the auction and is pleased to see other people getting the chance to enjoy the paintings.

Most of the buyers are private collectors, institutions and museums.