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Brave new virtual world @Strauss & Co

  28 March 2018     Archived

With the internet playing a greater role in the lives of consumers as the digital revolution continues to accelerate and online shopping platforms are steadily becoming the preferred environment of young millennials, Strauss & Co are making fine and decorative art auctions a virtual reality.

Whilst this is an international trend, it is nothing new to Strauss & Co who pioneered the online auction platform in South Africa in 2013. What makes this platform attractive is its ease of use which means that people can navigate the sales from the comfort of their home, as opposed to the potentially intimidating atmosphere that characterises an adrenaline-filled sale room.

There is also the issue of timing; traditional auctions happen in a heartbeat and if one’s eye strays for a second the object of desire might be lost forever. Conversely, online auctions occur over a period of days with bids being registered in virtual real-time which sees the user experience enhanced as new collectors are born. 

Finally, what makes these online auctions appealing to new and seasoned buyers is affordability. Strauss & Co have a reputation for offering top quality works by renowned artists but sometimes the prices attached to such gems are beyond the reach of budding collectors with a limited budget. With the online platform, new buyers can take their time with research and can measure their bids away from the grit and spontaneity that comes with a live sale.

Running from Monday 2nd April to Monday 9th April, Strauss & Co’s upcoming online-only auction has something for collectors of fine and decorative arts as well as modern and contemporary art.

Highlights from the Decorative Arts session include a varied collection of elegant Scandinavian jewellery, with several pieces from the innovative Danish designer, Georg Jensen. This sale also presents an eclectic glass collection, ranging from a group of Murano multi-coloured glass animals from Italy, French gilt and crystal champagne flutes, to local South African glass examples by pioneer Shirley Cloete.

For collectors of oriental decorative arts there is an array of Chinese monochrome and famille-rose ceramics, brass censors and unusual lacquer and leather hat boxes. There is also a particular emphasis on Japanese works of art, including elegant enamelled silver vases, silk panels and a comprehensive group of intricately decorated Satsuma ware, with the session concluding with a number of local Cape yellowwood and stinkwood furniture pieces.

In the session dedicated to prints and multiples lots as diverse as Robert Hodgins, Gregoire Boonzaier and Azaria Mbatha feature alongside works by contemporary artists such as Dan Halter, Anton Kannemeyer and Sam Nhlengethwa. Those looking for paintings and sculpture will find works by Lippy Lipschitz, Hylton Nel, Otto Klar, Wayne Barker and Susan Davies whilst works on paper feature in their own dedicated session with pieces by Lyndi Sales, Walter Battiss, Alexis Preller, Christo Coetzee, Judith Mason and David Koloane.

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