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R60 million for record-breaking South African art

  11 November 2014     Archived

The Strauss & Co summer auction conducted in Johannesburg last night totalled R60 million, making this the most successful sale of South African art for many years.

Highlights were the Harry Lits collection of works by the Amadlozi Group which totalled R9,6 million, double its pre-sale estimate. Sydney Kumalo's celebrated sculpture Man on Beast, sold for R1 250 000, five times more than the pre-sale estimate.

The top lot of the sale was a landscape by JH Pierneef which realised R11 936 000, a new world record for the artist. Fourteen of the fifteen Pierneefs on offer sold exceptionally well, in many instances exceeding the auctioneer's pre-sale estimates.

Another highlight was William Kentridge's Drawing for Stereoscope: Soho at Desk on Telephone which sold for R4 million, followed by his Extensive Landscape with Figures and Swimming Pool which made just over R3 million.

A spokesman for Strauss & Co described this as a major boost for the South African art market that is particularly indicative of the demand for quality work by respected artists.

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