What the experts say about it:
Several Auckland art houses were contacted to get their opinion on the painting.
Webbs, Newmarket: Director Sophie Coupland says it’s unlikely anybody in New Zealand can verify the painting’s authenticity. It needs to be compared to the artist’s other works side by side. This can’t be done by noting similarities from photographs, she says.
International Art Centre, Parnell: After being given the name of the painting and the artist a receptionist says they can’t help and Mr Nicholson is best off contacting Auckland Art Gallery.
Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland City: The gallery doesn’t give valuations or authentications to any work that isn’t exhibited by them.
Art and Object, Newton: Valuer James Parkinson says he comes across international works all the time and authentication is simply a matter of checking records and comparing the painting to similar works by the artist. He invited Mr Nicholson to bring the painting in for a free initial consultation however as the two original paintings are accounted for he says it’s unlikely Hunt painted a third. Such an iconic image is likely to have been reproduced in prints many times. Some prints called oleographs are painted to make them seem genuine.