Press Office

Two milestones in South African Art back under the hammer

  28 January 2011     Archived

Two paintings which previously shook the South African art market are to be offered for sale at auction again in March.

JH Pierneef’s masterpiece Extensive Landscape Northern Transvaal made auction history in 1985 when it became the first South African painting to break the one hundred-thousand rand mark, selling for R120 000.

In 1995 Irma Stern’s Still Life of Delphiniums created a stir when it broke through the R200 000 barrier for a 20th century South African painting, selling for R209 000. This set a new record for Irma Stern and was South Africa’s most expensive painting sold at auction for over five years.

These two major works are now back in the market with presale estimates of R10 000 000 – 15 000 000 and R10 000 000 – 12 000 000 respectively. This staggering growth proves that art is a form of investment with one of the highest returns. These two paintings are to be included in Strauss & Co’s sale of Important Paintings, Furniture, Silver and Ceramics on March 7 to be held at the Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town.

Strauss & Co, South Africa’s foremost auctioneers for South African art, holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a South African painting on home turf having sold Gladioli, by Irma Stern for R 13 368 000. In addition to Still life with Delphiniums, the sale features five other major works by Irma Stern, totalling over R 40 million accounting for over 50% of the sale totals.



Jacob Hendrik Pierneef
Extensive Landscape Northern Transvaal
Oil on canvas, 76 by 102cm
R10-15 million

Irma Stern
Still Life of Delphiniums
signed and dated 1938, oil on canvas laid down on board, 99 by 73,5 cm
R10 – 12 million

Other Highlights include:
Irma Stern: The Lemon Pickers, signed and dated 1928, oil on canvas, R10-14 million
Irma Stern: Still life with Camellias, signed and dated1940, oil on canvas R3-4 million
Irma Stern: Still life with Roses and Apples, signed and dated 1944, oil on canvas R7-9 million
Irma Stern: Grand Canal, Venice signed and dated 1948, oil on canvas R4-6 million
Irma Stern: Still life with Fruit and Flowers, signed and dated 1934, gouache, R900 000 – 1, 2 million
Peter Wenning, At Claremont, CP, oil on canvas, R 800 000 – 1, 2 million
Alexis Preller, Gold Kouros, gold leaf on panel, R 1800 000 – 2, 2 million

Media Liaison
Bina Genovese
021 683 6560/