Aladdin’s cave of rare art, furniture, silver, ceramics and jewellery to go on virtual auction


A VERITABLE treasure trove of art – with masterpieces by Tretchikoff, Irma Stern, JH Pierneef, Maggie Laubser, Walter Battiss, Alexis Preller, William Kentridge and George Pemba (to name a few) – will go on auction on May 10 and alongside an exceptional selection of jewellery, English silver and furniture, continental and contemporary furniture, ceramics, glass, and covetable wines.

The two-day sale is Strauss & Co’s much-anticipated annual autumn auction, which will be conducted as a virtual auction and will begin on Sunday the 10th with a Bordeaux-themed sale of rare wines from South Africa and France, to be followed on Monday the 11th with the remainder of the exciting lots.

Green tourmaline and diamond earrings each claw-set with a round mixed-cut green tourmaline weighing approximately 11.60 carats, the stepped bezel pavé-set with single-cut diamonds to a diamond-set surmount

Some examples of the wines to go on auction include Kanonkop’s flagship red, Paul Sauer 1991, the renowned 1995 vintage of Meerlust Rubicon, and Vilafonté’s 2009 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blend Series C. Other renowned local winegrowers to be represented include Delaire Graff, Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons, Hartenberg Estate, and Morgenster Estate. The French Bordeaux wines to be auctioned include Haut-Brion Pessac-Leognan 1989, as well as a single bottle of Pétrus Pomerol 1989, one of the world’s most rare and expensive wines.

Monday’s auction begins with an extensive selection of jewellery, including a 1930s Art Deco five-stone diamond ring, the central emerald-cut diamond weighing 2.86 carats. Furniture that will be on sale includes antique Cape, Italian and French pieces as well as Danish and Italian contemporary items. Other lots include silk carpets, Chinese and South African ceramics, carvings and sculptures – to list only a small selection.

George IV silver two-handled wine cooler, Paul Storr, London, 1829

In addition to the above, Strauss & Co will be auctioning a rare selection of Dutch East India Company (VOC) collectables – including three lots of 17th-century Arita blue and white dishes, each bearing the VOC monogram (estimates range between R150 000 – 250 000 each), bronze weights, coins and a large iron key. Similarly compelling is a charming assembly of treen (small wooden domestic objects) collected by the late Lady Caroline “Ina” Magdalen Oppenheimer, including a nutcracker carved with a hand clasping a walnut.

A notable highlight of day two of the autumn sale is Vladimir Tretchikoff’s 1974 Portrait of Ellen Peters, which is a study of a teenage secretary and beauty queen from the Cape Town suburb of Kensington, rendered in the style of his famous Balinese Girl.

Portrait of Ellen Peters by Vladimir Tretchikoff

Sixteen superb works by Irma Stern will be featured on the auction – amongst these will be Zanzibar Arab, with an estimate of between R10 to R12 million, and Still Life with Lilies with an estimate of between R13 to R15 million.

Alongside these works by Stern, the May sale includes seven extraordinary art pieces by Alexis Preller, including Space Angel (estimate R5 –R 7 million, pictured above), The Kraal (estimate R800 000 – R1 200 000), and The Ship (estimate R1.8 – 2 million). The sale also includes 13 lots by JH Pierneef, and seven lots by Maggie Laubser. The works of many other renowned artists will also go under the hammer on the 11th, including signed and numbered Picasso etchings.

Georgina Gratrix
Crazy for You

Strauss & Co has partnered with, the world’s leading international platform for buying art, antiques and collectibles online, to offer this auction virtually. The change in format was necessitated by the current Covid-19 outbreak. The cutting-edge virtual sale will replicate a physical salesroom, with Strauss & Co’s auctioneers conducting the auction live, in isolation.

“ hosts hundreds of auctions and provides a fair, safe, public and accessible auction platform all year round,” says Strauss & Co chairperson Frank Kilbourn. “This partnership will expand our reach internationally, for the benefit of buyers and sellers alike.”

The contents of the upcoming virtual auction are live on the Strauss & Co website, or browse the 276 page catalogue here. Prospective buyers can register online and it is possible to place bids now.

Strauss & Co is available to provide information about the upcoming lots, detailed condition reports via e-mail, face-time viewings of particular lots, one-on-one virtual meetings on a preferred platform and information about how to view and bid on the auction. For more information call +27 (0)21 683 6560 or contact Bina Genovese at [email protected]; 083 680 9944 or Mia Borman at [email protected]; 084 685 1671.

Walter Battiss
Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe
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