In the News
- Oct 23. Pierneef se Bosveldbome simbolies van lewe
- Oct 22. Stern lilies in Strauss's highest-value sale
- Sep 18. Maud Sumner die kunstenaar was ook 'n digter
- Sep 10. Welz en die 'vloek van veilings'
- Sep 01. Pierneef Panele by Die Rupert Museum, Stellenbosch
- Aug 28. Pierneef het hom ook skildersvryhede vergun
- Aug 15. Polish your knowledge of jewellery
- Aug 01. Stephan Welz honoured for giving gallery new life
- Jul 27. Delighting and dealing in art
- Jul 26. Auctioneers find prized pieces in Eastern Cape
- Jul 23. Rare art find in EL worth more than R1m
- May 30. Rhodes statue led Welz to success
- May 28. Wêreldrekord van R7,575 miljoen vir Irma Stern-skildery
- May 26. Record price for Stern painting
- May 26. Skildery van Irma Stern behaal nuwe rekordprys
- May 26. Irma Stern-skildery behaal wêreldrekordprys
- May 15. Groot name in SA kuns kom onder hamer
- May 12. Art sale breaks mould
- May 09. Local art in full flower at major sale
Polish your knowledge of jewellery
August 15, 2010 [ Archived ]
Have you ever wondered whether all the people at auctions really know the value of whatever they're bidding on, or whether they're going with the flow and basing their bids on those of others who do know the value of the item? Just as important, do they know when to stop bidding?
Chances are that a significant number fall into the latter category. The problem is that if their bids are successful and they find out later that they overpaid, they won't blame their own ignorance, but will blame the auctioning.
These people must be taught what auctioning is all about and how to estimate the value of whatever they're bidding on, in particular, collectors just starting out who believe they know it all.
Strauss & Co has identified the need in one area, jewellery, so it is bringing a Sotheby's expert, Joanna Hardy, to South Africa to conduct two day-long master classes. She will teach jewellery appreciation, what to look for, how to use a loupe and how to be discerning. Hardy, who has been with Sotheby's for 14 years and runs the Jewellery School of Excellence in London, will also try to teach people how to value jewellery.
She will hold a Johannesburg master class on August 19 and one in Cape Town on August 25. They are limited to 12 per class.
Among the reasons for bringing her out, says Strauss & Co's Debbie Watson, is that most people don't know whether a diamond is genuine or fake.
Another reason is to get stock to sell at and promote Strauss & Co's first dedicated jewellery sale on November 22 at Cape Town's Vineyard Hotel.
To do that, she will also give confidential valuations to those who intend to put items up for auction.
The Johannesburg valuation will be from 9am to 4pm on August 20 at Strauss & Co's offices at 89 Central Street, Houghton. At 5.30pm, Hardy will give a lecture entitled "Jewels that catch an expert's eye" .
The Cape Town valuation will be between 9am and 4pm on August 24 in Strauss & Co's offices in Newlands. It will also be followed by a lecture in Muizenberg.
Much of the knowledge people display at auctions has been learnt the hard way - by being chastised years ago for their ignorance by old-fashioned auctioneers who called a shovel a shovel, not a spade.
Who can forget the gravel-voiced Abe Barnett of Barnett Auctioneers lambasting anyone who quoted more for an item he could buy for less at retail level? It happened to me when I bid more for a carpet than I could have bought it for at a nearby shop. In front of the assembled audience, Barnett told me, "You can get it around the ****ing corner for ****ing less than your ****ing bid."
I leave it to your imagination what he said to a hardware store owner who, a few days later, bid more for hammers than he was selling them for in his own shop.