Live Virtual Auction, 11 - 12 October 2021

Sold for

R 2 503 600
Lot 364
Jacob Hendrik Pierneef; Egyptian Felucca Sailing Boats

Lot Estimate
R 450 000 - 650 000
Selling Price
Incl. Buyer's Premium and VAT
R 2 503 600

About this Item

South African 1886-1957
Egyptian Felucca Sailing Boats
oil on artist's board
38,5 by 28,5cm excluding frame; 46,5 by 36,5 by 5cm including frame


Hubertus Claudius De Kock was the editor at Die Volkstem newspaper in Pretoria, for whom Pierneef was frequently requested to do illustrations.

This painting was executed by Pierneef on the return voyage to South Africa after time spent in London in 1925. Ships were coalfired and those travelling down the East Coast of Africa would dock at Port Said for bunkering, granting passengers a few days’ opportunity to travel inland. Feluccas, the traditional wooden sailing boats dating back to Biblical times, continue to be used on the Nile for fishing and transportation. Pierneef made sure to include the hieroglyphic symbols on the sails: the Eye of Horus and Ra, the Sun God.1,2 Pierneef’s painterly application of a bright pastel palette has perfectly captured the opalescence of the scene. The catalogue of the J H Pierneef exhibition (which opened on 27 March 1927 at the New Kempsey Building, Fox Street, Johannesburg) describes another painting from the voyage as being particularly successful in its treatment “to get the pearly atmosphere of the East Coast.”3

1. Who represents protection from danger.
2. The sun represents the Sun God/ Creator.
3. Extract from the J H Pierneef Exhibition Catalogue that accompanied the exhibition J H Pierneef in 1927 at the New Kempsey Buildings, Fox Street, Johannesburg.

Phillippa Duncan


Gifted by the artist to Hubertus Claudius De Kock and thence by descent.

Christopher Møller Gallery, Cape Town.

Private Collection, Cape Town.

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