PRESS RELEASE FROM 1 APRIL 2009
Announcing our April Auction of
Fine & Decorative Arts,
Furniture, Silver, Ceramics, Books & Jewellery
· * Sale moved to 20 & 21 April to precede the election
· * Unique Irma Stern features only known painting of her father (verso)
· * Historically significant Kentridge pastel & charcoal work on auction
· * Traditional South African artists dominate the array of 250 paintings including important works by Boshoff,
Krige, Battiss and Boonzaier
· * Furniture includes Cape yellowwood & stinkwood craftsmanship
· * Highly sought-after gentleman’s Patek Philippe 18ct white gold wristwatch is the highlight
of the watches consigned
· * Solitaire diamond ring of over 5cts to feature in superb jewellery session
· * Two cannons on offer, one reputed to be from a 1740 shipwreck
Stephan Welz & Company, in association with Sotheby’s, presents its Johannesburg autumn auction, to be held in their Biermann Avenue, Rosebank, Johannnesburg sale rooms on 20 & 21 April 2009. The sale is of remarkably broad appeal, though the spread of highly prized paintings by South Africa artists is sure to dominate the two day, five session sale.
One of the most unique offerings from the company’s paintings department is the Irma Stern (Lot 225) which comprises the hauntingly beautiful ‘Portrait of a girl in a Red Frock’ (recto) and the sombre ‘Samuel Stern’ (verso). The latter is the only known portrait of Stern’s father and the painting is illustrated on page 12 of Marion Arnold’s work ‘Irma Stern; A Feast for the Eye’. This work was presented by the artist to her cousin and has remained in the family since then. It is conservatively estimated at R800 000 –R1 200 000.
Of equal significance in a historical sense is the sale’s ‘cover lot’, the dramatic pastel and charcoal work which draws on William Joseph Kentridge’s earlier bitingly satirical work of the mid 1980s featuring a dancing couple under the oppressive structures of industrialisation and apartheid. ‘The Highveld Style Masked Ball’ (Lot 329) is signed and dated ’88, sized 95.5 x 70cm and pre-sale estimated at R500 000 – R700 000.
From a remarkable array of traditional South African artists, spanning respected and desirable names for collectors and investors alike, there are significant works from Krige, Sumner, Battiss, Boshoff, Koenakeefe-Mohl, Boonzaier, Bhengu and Pemba. But even with this stellar selection, there are works which will attract particular attention. Pieter Wenning’s ‘A Cape Homestead’ is one such work. So often, his brushwork brings his paintings to life, and there is such vitality in the way that he captured forever rural scenes of the Cape that have now given way to modern day developments. This painting is Lot 224, estimated at R500 000 – R800 000.
Lot 218, ‘Landscape with Distant Houses’ by Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (R400 000 – R600 000) demonstrates the artist’s undoubted skills and talent, of course, but this particular landscape is notable for Pierneef’s brave impressionism lending it almost infinite depth. From Cathcart William Methven (Lot 217, R80 000 – R120 000) comes a painting of the Tugela River in the Drakensberg, is so evocative, and so detailed, it’s like proof of a master at work. It is also conservatively estimated.’
The auction will again bring to the market extremely sought-after examples of Cape yellowwood and stinkwood furniture. Of particular note are Lots 580 and 585, the former being a generously proportioned gate-leg table dating from the 18th century and estimated at R40 000 – R60 000. Lot 585 is a beautiful cupboard from the 19th century at R30 000 – R50 000.
Other furniture items of note include a 19th century William lV carved mahogany linen press from the Channel Islands, imposing at over two metres high (Lot 521, R45 000 – R55 000), a late 19th/early 20th century carved mahogany serving table with six fluted legs and carved ram's head details (Lot 546, R60 000 – R80 000) and a 19th century Dutch oak and ebonised kussenkas (Lot 567, R30 000 – R50 000)
Mirroring the trend evidenced in previous auctions by the company in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, the selection of quality silver is certain to attract enthusiastic bidding. Lot 612 is a pair of 20th century French silver tureens (950 standard) from Henin & Cie, estimated at R8 000 – R12 000. Lot 641 is a pair of 1843/44 Victorian silver salvers by Joseph & Albert Savory, London (R10 000 – R15 000). Also vying for attention are Lot 662, a George lll silver coffee pot by William & James Priest, London 1766 (R14 000 – R18 000), Lot 655, an Edwardian silver porringer by Edward Barnard & Sons Ltd, 1908 (R7 000 – R8 000), Lot 667, a William lV silver coffee pot by Henry & Charles Lias, London 1833 (R5 000 – R7 000) and Lot 677, an Edwardian silver revolving top breakfast dish from 1908 (R8 000 – R12 000).
The company’s jewellery department has again turned in a sparkling performance. With over 200 lots to choose from, highlights abound, including Lot 709, a solitaire diamond ring of 5,0330cts estimated at R70 000 – R90 000, Lot 714, a magnificent late Victorian hinged 15ct gold bangle (R7 000 - R9 000) and Lots 824 and 825, respectively a Bulgari cased Cicladi diamond pendant on a chain (R10 000 – R15 000) and a Bulgari cased Lucea diamond ring (R12 000 – R15 000). The spread of prices indicates that there is something for everyone and every budget. To further illustrate that point, Lot 866 is a pair of diamond earrings, maker’s mark JM, and a matching diamond brooch/pendant with diamonds approximately 8.20cts in total and estimated at R40 000 – R60 000 while Lot 907 is a modestly estimated 18ct gold cigarette case (R8 000 – R12 000).
Three lots from three different departments give further weight to this sale’s unusually broad appeal. There are two cannons on offer. Lot 447 is an early 18th century Finbanker 4-pounder on a twin-tailed carriage, estimated at R80 000 – R100 000 and Lot 448 is a VOC bronze parapet cannon, reputedly from the 1740 wreck of the Dutch East Indian ‘Visch’ , now estimated at R50 000 – R60 000.
From the same period, but from the company’s books department, comes Lot 84, an extremely rare first edition 6 volume set of Johan Lodewijk Gottfried’s ‘Voyagien na Oost end West-Indien’. This lot has already created quite a stir in local and international bibliographic circles, yet is modestly estimated at R200 000 – R210 000.
As a final example of this sale’s appeal, Lot 507 is one of the over 30 watches on offer. As the company’s department head, Eva Miklas, puts it, ‘We are so fortunate to have this watch consigned to us. It is a gentleman’s fine 18ct white gold automatic wristwatch by Patek Philippe. Its origin is certificated, comes complete with a bound pouch, and is from the relatively short production run of annual calendar wristwatches made with moon phases. Its reference is 5036, and is estimated at R160 000 – R180 000. A similar model recently realised almost double that in New York!’
The sale will be held over two days, 20 & 21 April, with pre-sale viewing on 17, 18 & 19 April. All enquiries should be addressed to 011 880 3125 or email@example.com.
A selection of low resolution images is published on the website for information. Higher resolution images are available from Natalie Randall or Tony Burgess on 011 880 3125 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 17 April : 10h00 – 17h00
Saturday 18 April : 10h00 – 13h00
Sunday 19 April : 10h00 – 13h00 and 14h00 to 17h00
Monday 20 April : Session One (Books, paintings – lots 1 - 200) : 14h00
Session Two (Paintings – lots 201 – 350) : 19h00
Tuesday 21 April Session Three (Carpets, ceramics, collectors’,
militaria, clocks & watches – lots 351 - 510) : 10h00
Session Four (Furniture, electroplate, silver -
Lots 511 - 700) : 14h00
Session Five (Jewellery – lots 701 – 908) : 18h30