Strauss & Co: The global leader in the South African art market.
Our team of specialists is able to advise private buyers and organisations considering starting a collection, augmenting an existing collection or transforming current art holdings. We also advise on restoration, conservation, framing, hanging and insuring artworks. Our approach is based on accuracy, transparency and client confidentiality. Our services include:
We offer art valuations to members of the public at our offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town and during our regular valuation days held throughout South Africa and further afield. This service is free to the public, whether artworks are to be consigned for sale, or the information is required for estate distribution, insurance or probate. We also specialise in appraisals of large private, corporate and civic collections and provide detailed documentation for clients’ asset registers.
Both our Johannesburg and Cape Town offices specialise in paintings, watercolours, drawings, art prints and sculpture. Additionally, our Cape Town staff has expertise in decorative arts including furniture, silver, ceramics, glass and jewellery.
Generally, five live sale-room auctions, offering South African paintings, watercolours, editioned prints and sculpture, are held per year, two in Johannesburg and three in Cape Town. The first Cape Town auction of the year focuses exclusively on Contemporary Art. The remaining two Cape Town auctions offer both fine and decorative arts, including furniture, silver, ceramics, glass and jewellery. In addition, we hold an average of seven online sales, each of a week’s duration, making collectable art available to local and international buyers.
Our live and online sales are academically robust and are researched, presented, curated and contextualised with the utmost care. The themed sales and themed sessions in our auctions, such as ‘An Unsung History’ in our November 2018 auction, further enhance our commitment to promoting and preserving South African and African art and art appreciation and informing investors and the art-loving community.
We advise on whether an artwork is best suited to a live or an online auction, when the best time to sell might be, and provide estimates of the sale values likely to be achieved. We base our valuations on auction records of similar works sold in the recent past. In most instances there is no charge for this service. Clients are welcome to bring artworks in to our offices for valuations or submit details, including dimensions and a photograph of the work, to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to Strauss & Co’s core auction business, we can arrange the swift sale of select, high-value items privately and with complete discretion. Our experts will coordinate the private sale or purchase at the best possible price.
We manage all aspects of selling the contents of important homes and the artworks in large private collections.
Our in-house art specialists are able to provide an objective report containing as much information about an artwork and its provenance and condition as possible. In selected instances, we consult other experts on our seller’s or buyer’s behalf for additional, third-party insight into a particular work. We do everything possible to vet each individual work offered for sale on both our online and live auctions.
Our well-researched live sale catalogues are highly regarded in the art world for the integrity of the information and the quality of the images they contain, and as records of the secondary market. These can be purchased at our live sale viewings and on the day of the sale, as well as from our offices. Individual copies or yearly subscription packages are available. Our catalogues are also available as e-catalogues before a sale, allowing our clients to consider items they may be interested in during the pre- auction period, as well as for later research in the comprehensive catalogue library archive on our website.
Our website provides a wealth of information and data for art buyers and sellers, artists, historians, academics, researchers and others. Our live auction and online auction Artists Lists provide a comprehensive record of all works sold by individual artists. Each of our individual auctions (from 2009 onwards) has a gallery, a list of artists and works, the sale catalogue and results. In 2018, we began adding 3D visuals as well as audio information on specific artworks as a way of enhancing the overall experience and growing the information available.
As a responsible and active corporate citizen, Strauss & Co takes its role in improving and sustaining the entire art ecosystem seriously. Introducing more people to art, educating the public about art, promoting art and supporting artists, underpin our Strauss Education programme, which includes lectures, master classes, exhibitions, art walkabouts, private viewings, school tours, corporate lectures, special events and partnerships. Our in-house specialists and invited guest lecturers provide access to specialist information and expertise and increase the knowledge base of art enthusiasts and art world participants.
Partnerships with established art fairs and institutions and highly impactful sponsorships are part of our commitment to growing and sustaining the art ecosystem. In recognition of this involvement, Strauss & Co won the Chairman’s Premier Award at the 21st annual BASA awards in 2018. A highlight of our focus on emerging artists is our involvement in the Cassirer Welz Award – a partnership between Strauss & Co and The Bag Factory Artists’ Studios – that rewards emerging artists and showcases their talents to a broader audience. The award was established with Nadine Gordimer in honour of her husband, art dealer Reinhold Cassirer, and Strauss & Co in memory of our co-founder, Stephan Welz. It has played an important role in the careers of artists such as Blessing Ngobeni, Tshepo Mosopa, Nompumelelo Ngoma and Asanda Kupa.
We have a strong sense of social responsibility and, from time to time, we donate our in-house expertise to selected charity auctions for organisations that share our core values.