Press Office

Letter from the Chairperson

  28 October 2020

Dear Clients and Friends,

I hope that you and your families are in good health and secure in these troubling times. I would like to personally thank you for your continued support of Strauss & Co, and for joining us on our dynamic digital journey over the course of 2020.

This past year has been a time of change, adaptation and innovation at Strauss & Co. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic we had to rethink our traditional auction formats and quickly pivoted to a hybrid model of live-virtual trading. We are grateful for your support and patronage of our two highly successful virtual auctions in May and July.


One of the big lessons of 2020 for us is that the geographical location of an auction is no longer relevant, and is indeed quite limiting. This insight has enabled us to further refine our offering in order to better serve you. I am delighted to share details of our new marquee sale, NORTH/SOUTH, an exciting multi-day sale comprised of Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Jewellery and Fine Wine.


NORTH/SOUTH will take place over four days from 8 to 11 November. The sale has been organised into eight thoughtfully curated sessions, with the sale of works overseen by our capable team of auctioneers in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The sale will be live-streamed globally and is underpinned by Strauss & Co’s seamless online bidding technology. Our convenient hybrid digital format allows for bidders from all over the world to safely and securely participate in real-time bidding. NORTH/SOUTH replaces our two historical end-of-year live sales in Cape Town and Johannesburg.


NORTH/SOUTH is a testament to our country’s rich heritage of artistry and patronage. The sale includes a 75-lot session devoted to the Tasso Foundation Collection of important South African art – including five important works by Irma Stern – assembled by the late Italian entrepreneur and collector Giulio Bertrand of Morgenster. Sydney Kumalo’s important bronze figure Madala I, from the Late Desmond Fisher Collection, forms part of an exciting focus on mid-century sculpture. The sale also includes six works by Maggie Laubser with a touching backstory from the Küpper Family Collection.


The pedigree of a single-owner collection also underpins our fine wine offering, which comprises a selection of wines by 19 producers from Burgundy and the northern Rhône, all drawn from one private cellar. Our offering of Oriental Works of Art includes the property of a European Collector. Cultivating new collectors has been an important part of our journey as a company, and in this spirit I am pleased to announce the New Collector session, which focuses on Contemporary South African Ceramics and presents a diverse ensemble of notable protagonists in this important genre. 


Every auction is a learning journey. Strauss & Co’s knowledgeable team of specialists will discuss our exciting offerings in a series of online Zoom talks starting on 26 October at 4pm. These illustrated talks are an integral part of our ongoing commitment to education. Please consult for scheduling details. If you are unable to attend any of the talks, recordings are uploaded to our YouTube channel, which also includes insightful videos on upcoming highlights.


I am delighted to announce the resumption of in-person previewing as well as in-person bidding for those clients who wish to visit us at our auction venues in Cape Town and/or Johannesburg. Works from our three-volume catalogue can be previewed in person from 25 October to 11 November at our Johannesburg offices at 89 Central Street, Houghton, and in Cape Town at a spectacular new venue at Brickfield Canvas, 35 Brickfield Road, Woodstock. Live in-person bidding on lots in NORTH/SOUTH is also possible at these venues, albeit at pre-defined times.


In order to ensure the safe and efficacious functioning of our in-person services – be it previewing or bidding, or both – please pre-book your attendance. Covid-19 safety protocols apply throughout.

To book an appointment to visit our previews, to reserve a seat at the live auction, to find out the location – Cape Town or Johannesburg - of the lots you may be interested in, or for any other information please contact:
Cape Town + 27 (0) 21 683 6560 I
Johannesburg + 27 (0) 11 728 8246

Should you wish to view the jewellery, please call + 27 (0) 21 683 6560.


For ease of reference, please find below links to our homepage, our virtual viewing rooms, our YouTube channel and our catalogues. Please also find below the link to register, browse and bid on the auction.


I would again like to express my sincere thanks to you for your continued support of Strauss & Co. We look forward to engaging with you soon, either in person or via our online platform.



Frank Kilbourn
Executive Chairperson



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