caxton part I

Strauss & Co end year on a high note with Online-Only auction – Part I

26 Nov 2021

In Boksburg Advertiser | Caxton Reporter

November Online Part I includes Sessions 1 – 3:
Works on Paper; Prints and Multiples; Books, Portfolios & Sculpture

Monday, 22 November at 8am – Sunday, 28 November 2021 at 8pm


Strauss & Co is closing 2021 off on a high note with their November Online-Only Auction.

“The end-of-year sale has been divided into three parts, with staggered conclusions over three consecutive days, to do justice to the exceptional consignment of works on offer,” Susie Goodman, an executive director at Strauss & Co explains. “This decision also enables us to better profile our collaborating partners and single-owner collections.”

The sale features something for every taste, budget and whim – from perennial favourites like William Kentridge and JH Pierneef to impressionistic landscapes from Hugo Naudé and lyrical watercolours from Namibian Adolph Jentsch.

Demand for indigenous ceramics is robust. Following the two successful auctions this year of South African ceramics, including the Juanita Bird Collection of Linn Ware and other 20th century ceramics, collectors will be excited by the further examples on offer from the Linn Ware, Ceramic Studio, Globe and Hamburger Pottery studios. If your tastes gravitate towards the more flamboyant, there is also a Roberto Cavalli ‘Animal’ pattern dinner service going under the hammer.

Other treasures include a mohair handwoven rug from Royal Lesotho Tapestry Weavers, skilful botanical and bird paintings from the RMB Collection, and a beautiful Edwardian cane high chair and cradle from the Goede Hoop Estate, for those who might be expecting the pitter-patter of tiny feet sometime soon.

Other treasures include a mohair handwoven rug from Royal Lesotho Tapestry Weavers, skilful botanical and bird paintings from the RMB Collection, and a beautiful Edwardian cane high chair and cradle from the Goede Hoop Estate, for those who might be expecting the pitter-patter of tiny feet sometime soon.

As we all prepare to wind down and spend quality time with family and friends, why not scroll through the incredible works Strauss & Co has on auction – they would make for thoughtful Christmas gifts and give loved ones something unique to remember you by.


Session 1: Works on Paper

Namibian artist Adolph Jentsch is the iconic, evocative and beloved painter of the Namibian landscape. Two watercolours of the artist are going under the hammer in the first session.

In Lot 73, Landscape with Low Bushes (watercolour on paper, estimate R10 000 – 15 000), the artist uses delicate brushstrokes in a pointillistic style to represent the characteristic vegetation of the Namibian landscape. Lot 90, S.W. Afrika (watercolour on paper, estimate R8 000 – 12 000) shows a more verdant Namibian summer landscape, punctuated by a lone Acacia tree in the distance. 


Session 2: Prints and Multiples

Sam Nhlengethwa is best known for his paintings and collage works that explore themes of social and art history, jazz, mining and domestic life. Dear Ella Fitzgerald (colour lithograph on paper, estimate R18 000 – 24 000) is a visual tribute to the ‘First Lady of Song’ and ‘Queen of Jazz’, Ella Fitzgerald. Like Fitzgerald and her music, the artwork pulses with vibrancy and spontaneity. “Painting jazz literally allows me to put colour onto these vocal colours,” the artist said in an interview with Arthrob.

“There are several outstanding works on paper in this sale,” says Wilhelm van Rensburg, Strauss & Co senior art specialist, whose keen insights into the various print-making media stem from his long association with the much-loved Johannesburg gallery Art on Paper. “They include a very early and rare linocut series by Norman Catherine, Scenes with Abstract Figures (estimate R10 000 – 15 000), executed while he was an art student at the East London Technical College under Jack Lugg.”


 Session 3: Books, Portfolios and Sculpture

South African sculptor Julius Napaqu Mfethe came from a long line of talented craftsmen and women – his father and two brothers were specialist grass weavers. Mfethe used his formidable powers of observation to create small, delicate, smooth-surfaced, finely-detailed sculptures depicting the lives of the people and animals around him.

The wooden sculpture Vierspan Ploeg (estimate R 50 000 – 70 000) is a magnificent carved plough scene with two men and four oxen. The sculpture exhibits Mfethe’s unique skill and attention to minuscule detail, from the delicate braiding of the farmer’s whip to the intricate carvings on the men’s shoes and the tiny bolts of the plough.


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