Stephan Welz and Co., in association with Sotheby’s, announces its forthcoming Cape Town auction of Decorative and Fine Arts which takes place on 27 & 28 May 2008 in the Old Mutual Conference and Exhibition Centre, Kirstenbosch National Gardens, Newlands. Over 1 000 lots will be offered with a total estimate of between R16 - R22 million. They will be on exhibition for pre-sale viewing from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 May.
The sale boasts a wide selection of works by major South African masters and contemporary artists.
On the evening of 27 May, Irma Stern’s “Cape Town Harbour” (R1 400 000 - R1 800 000) will go under the hammer. The sale will also feature two works by Maggie Laubser : a portrait of a Malay girl, “Maleiermeisie” (R400 000 - R600 000) and “The Paw-paw Tree” (R280 000 - R320 000). Highlighting the works by Pierneef is “Extensive Landscape” (R600 000 - R900 000) which, as the title implies, depicts a particularly large, expansive and atmospheric landscape.
Following the record price achieved in the February 2008 auction for a painting by Vladimir Tretchikoff, the May sale will feature six major works by this artist, including an exotic portrait entitled “Fruits of Bali”(R250 000 – R350 000).
Four hitherto unseen works by Gerard Sekoto from a European collection, including a small and charming oil, “Girl sewing” (R150 000 - R200 000), should catch the eye of collectors of this artist’s works. “The Creation” (R80 000 - R120 000), which was executed in 1966, is one of Alexis Preller’s “celestial works”.
Other celebrated artists featured are Adriaan Boshoff, Errol Boyley, Terence McCaw, Hennie Niemann, Conrad Theys, Stanley Pinker, George Pemba, Marjorie Wallace and Piet van Heerden.
Amongst the four longcase clocks on offer are two imposing 18th Century walnut examples, one by Nathan Seddon, London (R90 000 - R120 000) and the other by James Lloyd (R70 000 - R90 000). A 19th century mahogany wheel barometer by Fagiola London, should also inspire competitive bidding.
The sale boasts a superb selection of furniture covering English, Continental, South African, Moorish and Oriental pieces from the 18th century through to the present. The highlight of the English Furniture is an elegant 18th century black japanned cabinet-on-stand (R50 000 - R70 000), decorated in gilt with exotic chinoiserie scenes.
A fine Victorian bird's eye maple inlaid and gilt-metal mounted side cabinet (R30 000 - R40 000) and a 19th century French mahogany and rosewood brass-mounted bureau plat (R15 000 - R20 000) both of which belonged originally to Sir Edward Agar Horatio Nelson, 5th Earl Nelson of Trafalgar, are also on offer. Other Continental pieces of note include a pair of 18th century Iberian green and gilt japanned armchairs (R25 000 - R35 000), a pair of carved 18th century Italian oak Salomonic columns (R15 000 - R20 000) and a handsome German Biedermeier cherrywood and ebonised seven-piece salon suite (R25 000 - R35 000).
Good quality Cape furniture continues to attract keen interest. In this section is an imposing 18th century Cape stinkwood, East Indian rosewood and beefwood cupboard-on-stand (R150 000 - R200 000) and a 19th century Cape yellowwood and stinkwood jongmanskas, which appears in Baraitser and Obholzer’s Cape Country Furniture, (R20 000 - R25 000). An interesting piece is an Anglo-Boer prisoner-of-war fruitwood travelling lap desk, St. Helena , 1900 (R6 000 - R8 000), inlaid with a view of St Helena and which belonged to Lucien DC Morilleau, the French consul to St Helena from 1889-1907. The star lot of the array of the more modern furniture is a superb 14-seater Art Deco oak and parquetry boardroom table made specially for the Southern Life Association in Cape Town in the 1940s (R40 000 - R50 000).
Highlights in the Continental silver session include a selection of miniatures, mainly Dutch, comprising figural groups, animals, ships and windmills. Cape silver continues to fetch high prices: Cape silversmiths represented in the sale include Christiaan Kruger, a Cape silver teapot and stand, circa 1780 (R60 000 - R80 000) and Gerhardus Lotter, a Cape silver two-handled vase, circa 1820 (R80 000 - R100 000). In the English silver section a George I silver chocolate pot, London 1716 (R20 000 - R30 000) and a George III silver hot water jug on lampstand with burner, Benjamin Smith II and James Smith III, London, 1810, (R20 000 - R30 000) are worth a special mention.
The metalware section is highlighted by a 19th century Cape copper brandy still, by Van As, estimated to fetch R15 000 - R20 000.
Pieces by William Moorcroft, the renowned English potter who, in 1928, was appointed "Potter to the Queen" by Queen Mary, dominate the Ceramics session, with a large “Pomegranate” two-handled jardinière 1916-1918 (R15 000 - R20 000) being a good example.
Continental items include two massive Italian 19th century maiolica chargers (R10 000 - R15 000) and a selection of Meissen figures. Five shipwreck artefacts, accompanied by a South African Historical Wreck Society Artefact Register, are also on offer and include stoneware jars and bottles, an onion glass wine bottle and a pewter tankard. Oriental ceramics include a Chinese copper-red glazed dish, Yongzheng, 1723-1735 (R8 000 - R10 000) and a pair of Chinese pottery tilework figures, Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644 (R9 000 - R12 000). The star lot in the glass section is a rare Beilby fruiting-vine enamelled opaque-twist wine glass, (R18 000 – R20 000). Dating from circa 1765, this will certainly appeal to collectors of antique glass. In 1761 Beilby became the first man in England to fire enamels into glass so that they became virtually part of the glass itself. This is a fine example of Beilby craftmanship and rare opportunity to purchase one of his pieces at auction in South Africa.
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