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Stunning Stern leads the field at Strauss & Co's Cape Town auction in September

  23 August 2011     Archived

Irma Stern's Two Arabs (R20 000 000 – 25 000 000) is certainly the most important painting to be offered at auction in South Africa over the past decade and will no doubt create a great deal of excitement amongst collectors at Strauss & Co's upcoming auction to be held at the Vineyard Hotel, Newlands, on 26 September 2011.

Of great interest are a number of impressive paintings by J H Pierneef, including the early Trees by a Dam (R2 000 000 – 3 000 000), displaying clear Impressionist influences and Karoo, a gift from the Women’s Committee of Pretoria to HRH Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone in 1930.

Several appealing paintings are also of historical interest such as Pieter Wenning’s From Grove Road, Claremont with Devil’s Peak and The Bridge, Rondebosch (both at R800 000 – 1 200 000), Hugo Naudé’s The Artist’s Garden (R100 000 – 150 000) and Dorothy Kay’s superb Self Portrait with Red and White Scarf (R350 000 – 450 000), in which the artist depicts herself in front of her famous family portrait now in the permanent collection of Iziko South African National Gallery.

Jane Alexander’s something’s going down, 1993-94 (R400 000 – 600 000) is a powerful evocation of South Africa on the cusp of democracy. Strong works by Cecil Skotnes, Lucky Sibiya, Robert Hodgins, David Goldblatt, William Kentridge, Deborah Bell, Brett Murray and Andrew Putter will appeal to collectors of contemporary art.

Buyers also expect to see some good quality pieces of silver and furniture and, as usual, this sale does not disappoint. Amongst the excellent examples of English, Continental and Cape silver is a particularly noteworthy set of four decanter stands, Benjamin Smith II and James Smith III, 1811, attractively pierced and chased with vines (R120 000 – 150 000).

Some of the more desirable pieces of furniture are expected to perform well, including a dainty late 19th century Vernis Martin cabinet-on-stand, by Sormani & Son, regarded at the time as being one of the most important cabinet makers in Paris (R70 000 – 90 000), an early Cape yellowwood and stinkwood gateleg table (R100 000 – 150 000) and a jonkmanskas (R100 000 – 120 000).

For purposes of quoting, the text on the works of art was written by Emma Bedford, Senior Paintings Specialist, Strauss & Co.

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