Genshiro Kawamoto's art collection for sale
A billionaire's art collection sold at bargain basement prices. Saturday morning, the public will have a chance to buy up art pieces once belonging to Genshiro Kawamoto.
"It's phenomenal. It's probably one of a kind. We haven't dealt with an auction like this on Oahu of this magnitude before," said Alicia Alcantara with Oahu Auctions.
Massive bronze and granite lion statues are estimated to have cost up to $30,000. There are white marble statues costing $15,000 apiece. They are all remnants of Kawamoto's unrealized dream of grand sculpture gardens in Kahala.
The billionaire could sometimes be found among them, with gardening gloves and a smile.
But after Kawamoto ran into tax evasion problems with the Japanese government, he sold most of his Kahala portfolio to Alexander and Baldwin, and the pricey pieces came with it.
"The items are certainly unique, brought in from various parts of the world -- Europe, Italy, France and a lot of items from Asia as well," said Alcantara.
Kawamoto's costly collection will all be sold to the highest bidder for most likely a fraction of the price.
"It's all reliant on the crowd and how desirable one item is. If you have one desirable item and two bidders that's all it takes to make the prices go up, so we are hoping for a good crowd," said Alcantara.
More than 500 people are expected to show up to bid on the more than 600 pieces. The auction will begin in the entryway and maze through more than four rooms of the mansion.
The auction begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at 4631 Kahala Ave. It's open to the public and the mansion will be open at 8 a.m. so bidders can review the items before the auction.
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