Press Release - 11 April 2011
Session One, starting at 10am on Tuesday 19 April 2011, opens with books, Africana, ephemera and maps. Amongst these will be a unique collection of items that belonged to Lord Roberts. These Anglo-Boer War items were used by Lord Roberts while on campaign in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War in 1900. In the 1970’s, the well-known Cape Town Anglo-Boer War collector, the late Woody Nel, while on a business trip to England was informed of certain items which had belonged to Lord Roberts and were in the possession of an elderly female relative of his. Miss Roberts of Saffron Walden, Cambridge was prevailed upon to sell him the items, once convinced of his bona fides as a genuine collector. Woody Nel’s family have decided to sell these historic items which included Lord Roberts’ pocket watch (Lot 40, estimate R 2 500 – 3 500), pocket compass (Lot 37, estimate R 2 500 – 3 000), a collapsible silver drinking cup (Lot 36, estimate R 2 000 - 3 000), a brandy and port set in beautifully crafted silver and enamel mounted bottles contained in a leather case (Lot 35, estimate R 4 000 - 4 500) and a silver inkwell made from the hoof of Lord Roberts’ horse “Whist” (which died on campaign) (Lot 39, estimate R3 500 – 4 500). All these items are stylishly engraved with Lord Roberts’ initials “F.S.R.” – Frederick Sleigh Roberts.
In addition there are his cased binoculars marked ‘F.S.R.’ (Lot 34, estimate R 3 000 – 4 000) and his riding boots seen in many photos of Roberts. The leather is in remarkable condition and are internally engraved ‘F.R. (Lot 38, estimate R 4 500 - 5500). The individual prices are quoted, but those present, will be given the opportunity before bidding opens on these items, to make a bid for the whole collection (Lot 33, estimate R 25 000 - 40 000). If the total of the individual bids does not meet the combined figure, the single bidder will take all!
Session Two, starting at 14h00, begins with the carpet section. Out of the 49 lots of carpets on offer, lot 181, a Yomut Turkoman Carpet, stands out. This attractive tribal carpet from the 1920’s displays the characteristic “Dyrnak” guls, well drawn and spaced on a lustrous dark mahogany background. The border displays the typical curled-in leaf pattern. At a pre-sale estimate of R20 000 – 30 000 it is sure to draw attention.
The second session continues with a wide selection of furniture. As tradition dictates, English furniture opens the show. One lot worth noting is lot 247, a Regency walnut and inlaid tilt-top centre table, dating back to the early 1800s. Its intricate foliate inlay makes it a unique and sought after piece. Another mentionable piece, lot 249, a mahogany and brass-bound ‘campaign’ cellarette is a rather unusual piece; serving primarily as a coffee table its single deep drawer opens to reveal a lead-lined compartment for bottles with another compartment for ice. With an auction estimate of R5 000 - 7 000 the cellarette should attract much interest.
Some of the highlights from the Continental furniture section include lot 294, a beautiful Dutch marquetry and walnut display cabinet dating back to the 19th century - both a useful and a beautiful piece. Lot 314, a Cape yellowwood and stinkwood cupboard (with a pre-sales estimate of R30 000 - 40 0000) has a fine patina and delicate ivory escutcheons. This understated yet very attractive piece could serve well as a linen cupboard. The afternoon is further shared by the first of the paintings section. Approximately one hundred works fall into the categories British and Continental (Fidler, de Chazal, Piper, Nicholson etc.) and Traditional South African (Carter, Welz, Timlin, Oldert, Boonzaier, Benzon, Harrs, Squibb, Baker etc.) to name but a few.
At 18h30, the Third Session of the two day auction starts off with four beautiful collectors’ cars. The evening session, continues as per tradition, with paintings. First up is a charity section for the University of Pretoria Alumni Trust, made up of a selection of 13 works kindly donated by various artists. Of special mention here is lot 455 by Jacobus Kloppers, lot 456 by Michelle Nigrini, lot 460 by Hanneke Benade and lot 461 by Guy du Toit.
The session continues its contemporary feel with works by the likes of Page, Alexander, Hodgins, Catherine, Battiss, Kentridge, Schreuders, Gietl and Barker to name but a few. Some photographic print media by acclaimed photographer Michael Meyersfeld will be up for grabs in lots 481 and 482 – Enough and Boys on the Roof, at R 25 000 – 35 000 each. The Traditional art section kicks off with a wonderful Volschenk landscape (lot 508, R 100 000 - 150 000) entitled Where the Motor Winds its Way: Baineskloof, Wellington. Closely following this is lot 509, a beach scene by Frans Oerder, R 70 000 – 90 000. The allure of Lourenço Marques is conveyed by lot 510, a Pieter Wenning – being one of the most well respected artists in South Africa, it will be a wonderful addition to any art collection at R 800 000 – 1 200 000. Lot 511, Pieter Hugo Naude, (pre-sale estimate R 250 000 – 350 000) captures the essence of Brandvlei Dam in a rather undersized way. A selection of Pierneef works (lots 518 – 521) are represented by watercolours, drawings and oils. Moving onto the lady of the moment, Irma Stern – lot 523 is devoted to her with Strawberry Pickers (R 800 000 – 1 000 000); a wonderful work from her later period. Artists to the likes of Coetzer, Klar, Ampenberger, Boonzaier, McCaw and Botha are also well represented in this section. One of the most famous impressionist artists of South Africa, Francois Krige, is well represented – of special mention lots 542 (Still Life with Ranunculus and Apples) and lot 543 (Ontagu, Swartberge). The magic of this section is continued with a wonderful selection of sculptures. Van Wouw is represented firstly by The Bushman Hunter (R 800 000 – 1 200 000). Also, lots 573 & 574, both originally from the collection of Governor Rissik, Leemans, the Postman and The Mieliepap Eater, both Italian castings. Furthermore, a wonderful Brett Murray maquette of the larger scale public sculptural work, Africa, is up for grabs as lot 578, for a relatively low R 20 000 – 30 000. Representing the African sector of the market two works worth mentioning, lot 589, Lost Heritage, by Helen Sebidi and lot 590, a wonderful Township scene, by Gerard Sekoto, conservatively estimated at R 250 000 – 300 000.
On day two, the Fourth Session starts at 10.30am on Wednesday, 20th April with a fine selection of Decorative Arts and Silver. Ceramics, glass and works of art offer collectors some very fine items. Enthusiasts of early English ceramics will be interested in the five 18thcentury Thomas Wieldon-style pieces on offer, several of which, including lot 663, a rare flask, are modelled in the form of a cauliflower. This penchant for modelling naturalistic items emerged as a very distinguishing style of English ceramics during that period. Lot 678, a pair of beautifully painted Berlin KPM framed porcelain plaques, have a pre-sale estimate of R 6 000 - 8 000. For collectors of local ceramics, several works by leading artists are on offer. These include lot 688, a meter square gilt lustre porcelain tile by Esias Bosch at R 15 000 - 18 000; a delightful pair of earthenware cats, by Hylton Nel, which have a pre-sale value of R 16 000 - 18 000 and a significant Ardmore urn. The latter, lot 690, formed part of the Great Cats of the World Exhibition, a successful collaboration between Christopher Greig, of Charles Greig Jewellers and Ardmore Art Studio. It has an estimated value of R 35 000 - 45 000. For glass connoisseurs, two beautiful Lalique opalescent glass bowls, ‘Ondines’ and ‘Poissons’, lots 697 and 698 respectively, are on offer. Their pre-sale estimates of between R 5 000 – R 8 000, will ensure keen interest from collectors.
Some very fine Oriental items are up for offer in the works of art section. The star of the show is lot 701, a late Ming Dynasty ivory figurine of a Dutch lady. Modelled standing, wearing typical attire, this piece is referenced in Warren Cox’s ‘Chinese Ivory Sculpture’, plate 13, and has a pre-sale estimate of R 80 000 - 100 000. Continuing the ivory theme, lot 704, a pair of finely carved Rooster boxes with covers from the Qing Dynasty carries an estimate of R 40 000 - 60 000. A large ivory figurine of an Immortal and a bamboo carving of a mountainous scene are also on offer, as are two Japanese bronze sculptures of samurai warriors.
Session Four continues with the silver section. Auction-goers will surely enjoy this impressive collection. A wonderful selection of foreign silver is on offer. Of special mention, lot 736, a cased German silver liqueur set, probably L. Neresheimer & Co., Hanau, with import marks for B. Muller & Son, Chester, 1904 , with an auction estimate of R 15 000 - 20 000; lot 747, a five-piece Russian silver tea set, Adolf Sper, St. Petersburg , 1816-1857, bearing an estimate of R 12 000 - 15 000 and closely followed by lot 752, a Russian silver-gilt plique-à-jour enamel napkin ring, Gustav Klingert, Moscow, circa 1895, with an auction estimate of R 12 000 – 15 000. Lot 755 and 767 are certain to astound - an Irish silver tazza, Robert Calderwood, Dublin, probably 1729 and a collection of six Scottish silver teaspoons, probably John Keith, Banff, 1810, bearing estimates of R 4 000 – 6 000 and R2 000 – 3 000 respectively.
Also on offer are two wonderful Paul Storr lots. Namely lot 769, a George IV silver cup, 1821, with an estimate of R 18 000 - 22 000, and lot 771, a set of eight George IV silver dinner plates, 1827, carrying an estimate of R 100 000 - 120 000.
Session Five at 14h00 commences with watches. Coveted brands of wristwatches will be on offer. To highlight just a few - lot 822, a lady’s two-tone diamond-set Breitling Callistino wristwatch at R 14 000 - 16 000; lot 843, a gentleman’s 18ct gold wristwatch, Cartier Divan at R 30 000 – 40 000; lot 844, a gentleman’s 18ct gold wristwatch, Cartier Tank American at R 30 000 – 40 000; lot 855, a gentleman’s Panerai Luminor stainless steel wristwatch at R 20 000 - 30 000 and lot 858, a gentleman’s Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Submariner stainless steel wristwatch at R 35 000 – R45 000.
After such an array of wristwatches, the luster of the afternoon continues with the jewellery. A very attractive pair of diamond, pearl and enamel earrings, lot 880, bearing an estimate of R 3 000 – 4 000, gets a worthy first mention. Lot 890 and 891, a strand of thirty-five graduated Tahitian black pearls, and a strand of thirty-one graduated Tahitian pearls, are sure to attract attention at R 40 000 – 50 000 and R 20 000 – 30 000 respectively.
Lot 943, a magnificent emerald and diamond bracelet, is certain to attract a lot of excitement, set with approximately 20,80cts of emeralds and approximately 6,24cts of diamonds, in 18ct white gold with a pre-sale auction estimate of R 100 000 – 120 000. This piece will surely be the centre of attention on any ladies arm. Following shortly thereafter, is a rare find, lot 982 - a tsavorite and diamond pendant, set with a tsavorite weighing approximately 9,07cts, bearing an estimate of R 60 000 - 80 000.
The final session of the April 2011 auction concludes with some interesting collectable objects of vertu, notably lot 1050, an 18ct gold powder compact, weighing 193,6g, with an estimate of R 30 000 – 40 000.
For further information please call our Johannesburg office at 011 880 3125.