Press Office

Heart surgeon's collection steals collectors' hearts

  9 February 2012     Archived

Strauss & Co, Cape Town, 6 February 2012: the celebrated collection of glass, Chinese works of art, ceramics and Japanese Cloisonne' assembled by the late Professor Walter Beck sold this week by leading auction house Strauss & Co for R1,5 million, 50% more than anticipated.

The auction which also featured important South African art, jewellery, decorative arts and furniture, realised overall R32 million. The packed evening session was alive with animated bidding throughout. The highest price paid was for Irma Stern’s arresting Portrait of a Woman Wearing a Pink Hijab which realised R8 355 000 followed by her Two Seated Arabs which realised R2 785 000.

The front cover lot, Stanley Pinker’s sassy Girl in sunglasses sold for R1 448 200, three times its pre sale estimates. His sensuous and elegant Cézanesque Bathers sold for R835 500 confirming the increasing demand for his work. Another artist whose work performed exceptionally well was Robert Hodgins whose Igor Stravinsky and Four Woman sold for R724 100 setting a new record for the artist. The value of his paintings has grown exponentially at auction over the past two years and Strauss & Co holds all the auction records. Other highlights included Wolf Kibel’s Three Women on a Balcony and William Kentridge’s Head, which sold for
R 557 000 and R 868 920 respectively.

“These strong results illustrate that the South African market continues to attract significant levels of spending, particularly for rare and exceptional works of art. Collectors react with the greatest determination to the rarest and the best and particularly to those which are fresh to the market. Collectors are also seeking new names and talent. We are particularly pleased with the high prices realised for Robert Hodgins, Stanley Pinker, the two Sterns and the Professor Beck Collection. It is rare that entire collections of this calibre appear on the auction market and Strauss & Co is privileged to have been entrusted with its sale. Strong prices were also achieved for the jewellery and the furniture,” commented Bina Genovese, Executive Director of Strauss & Co after the sale.

Media enquiries
Bina Genovese
Executive Director / 083 680 9944

About Strauss & Co:
Strauss & Co is the global leader in South African art and South Africa’s premier fine and decorative arts auction house. The turnover for 2010 and 2011 was R187 million and R 170 million respectively. Founded in 2008 by captains of industry Elisabeth Bradley and Dr Conrad Strauss and with Stephan Welz at its helm, Strauss & Co has become not only a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service, expertise and glamour, but it is by turnover the largest fine art auction house in South Africa. History has been made repeatedly at its auctions and it continues to be a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Strauss & Co offers 4 or 5 sales annually in categories that include all areas of fine art (Johannesburg and Cape Town), jewellery, furniture, glass, ceramics, silver and more (Cape Town). Prices range from R 2000 to over R 30 million. Strauss & Co has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town in the prestigious suburbs of Houghton and Newlands respectively.


2012 Press Archive

 Return to Press Office