Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art

Johannesburg  |  3:00pm Mon 20 May 2019

Lots

Select a Session

Go to Lot


Anton van Wouw; Leemans the Postman
Click on the image to zoom

Lot 225

South African 1862-1945
Leemans the Postman
inscribed with the artist's name, dated 1901 and bears the foundry mark
bronze with a green patina; cast by the Nisini foundry, Rome
height: 45cm

Sold for R 1 400 000
Including Buyer's Premium and VAT R 1 593 200

Estimate R 700 000 - 1 000 000


Click here to view all the results

 View a Condition Report



Leemans the Postman remains one of the rarest of all of Van Wouw’s early masterpieces. Conceived and modelled in 1901, with Pretoria in British hands, it is enlivened with a force of character that belies its small scale. The dignity and humility of the figure, with his crumpled jacket, his sweat-soaked veld hat, his workmanlike hands, and his untamed beard, is unmistakable.

The story of Leemans (1840–1908) is extraordinary too. A Dutchman, he met Kruger when the president was on official business in Holland prior to the Second Anglo-Boer War. Kruger made a promise to Leemans – without second thought, presumably – that there was a job waiting for him should he ever manage to get himself to the Transvaal. One can only imagine Kruger’s surprise then when Leemans turned up at his home in Pretoria some time later, having landed in Delagoa Bay, and made his way to the capital, mainly on foot. Kruger honoured his promise, and made Leemans responsible for delivering local telegrams. The pose Van Wouw chose for the figure was therefore a familiar one for Pretorians expecting mail: Leemans apparently removed his hat before handing over each telegram, bowed slightly, and noted that ‘die aflewering is kosteloos’ (the deliver is free).


J Ernst (2006) Anton van Wouw: 'n Biographie. Vanderbijl Park: Corals. Another cast from the same edition illustrated on page 102.


Lot Images Select an image below to view


Other lots that might interest you

Anton van Wouw; Meintjieskop
Lot 221
Anton van Wouw
Meintjieskop

R 40 000 - 60 000
Anton van Wouw; Paul Kruger
Lot 224
Anton van Wouw
Paul Kruger

R 2 200 000 - 3 200 000
Anton van Wouw; The Accused
Lot 226
Anton van Wouw
The Accused

R 700 000 - 1 000 000
Anton van Wouw; Bust of Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr
Lot 223
Anton van Wouw
Bust of Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr

R 500 000 - 600 000
Anton van Wouw; Self Portrait
Lot 220
Anton van Wouw
Self Portrait

R 100 000 - 150 000
Anton van Wouw; Bust of Louis Botha
Lot 222
Anton van Wouw
Bust of Louis Botha

R 200 000 - 300 000