Stephan Welz & Company's summer auction of Decorative and Fine Arts in Cape Town
exceeds expectations with strong results across all departments
· Charles M. Schultz’s Snoopy sells for R95 200
· Maggie Laubser’s Woman with a Head Scarf sells for R784 000
· Stanley Pinker’s Two Nudes achieves R 313 600
Cape Town: 697 lots of Decorative and Fine Arts went under the hammer this week at Stephan Welz & Company’s one day summer auction. Pierneef’s sensitive study of Fishermen’s Cottages Near Struisbaai proved to be the highlight of the evening when it sold for R1 736 000.
Applause greeted the bid which clinched Charles M. Schultz drawing of Snoopy, one of the most recognisable cartoon characters of the 20th century. It sold for an unexpected R95 200 against a pre-sale estimate of R14 000 – R18 000 during the afternoon session. The sketch was acquired by the seller as a young child while at a youth camp in the USA in the 1980s where Schultz appeared as a guest entertainer.
In the evening paintings session, the historically significant In Old Cape Town, Malay Quarter by expressionist artist Pieter Hugo Naudè sold for R280 000. Other notable mentions include the intimate Portrait of Woman with Head Scarf by Maggie Laubser which sold for R784 000. This portrait was produced during her time on her family’s farm, Oortmanspost. This phase of her career occurred after having returned from studying in Europe and is considered by many collectors to be her finest period. Irma Stern’s Woman Reading, Zanzibar, a gouache dating from 1945, achieved a strong price with R336 000.
Francois Krige Augrabies Falls
Stanley Pinker once again proved his auction popularity with R313 600 being achieved for Two Nudes, a beautiful and understated work which was recently repatriated. Auction excitement was sustained by works such as Francois Krige’s Augrabies Falls (R336 000), Robert Hodgins’ Smoking (R134 400) and Christo Coetzee’s The Bride (R145 600). R134 400 was the successful bid for Bettie Cilliers-Barnard’s Bottel Met Vrug and Gregoire Boonzaier’s Still Life titled Fruit, Cup and Ginger Jar was sold at R257 600.
The auction’s frontispiece, a fine Northern Italian walnut and marquetry commode from the late 18th century, sold for R112 000 - well above the top-end of its estimate. Colonial tastes proved stronger than ever with an exotic 19th Century amboyna, ebony and inlaid campaign chest-bureau (R56 000) and a teak and brass-bound military chest which sold for a handsome R45 600. Cape furniture maintained its market strength with an 18th Century Cape yellowwood and teak peg-top gate-leg table selling for R42 560 and a charming Cape side table selling for R19 040. Cape Regency Rusbanke sold particularly well with an important inlaid example selling for R33 600.
A set of four 'Oxford' chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen
20th Century Design confirmed its popularity for collectors with all of the items selling within and above the presale estimates. The contemporary furniture section was led by pieces designed by the desirable Scandinavian designer Arne Jacobsen. His set of four ‘Oxford’ chairs sold for R38 080, continuing a trend which was established by a sale of his iconic ‘Egg’ chair and ottoman which sold on our last auction for R123 200.
Collectors of fine furniture clamoured to be the successful bidders on a number of attractive pieces from the renowned Noordhoek Manor. These included an exceptional pair of George IV mahogany side servers which sold for R72 800, as well as a George III chest-on-chest which sold for R47 040. Other highlights included a collection of occasional tables, all of which greatly exceeded their estimates - the highest price achieved being R16 800 for a George III example. Also from the Herbert-Baker homestead was a pair of highly decorative Japanese Satsuma bottle vases which fetched R17 920.
A pair of Chinese vases and covers 19th Century
In the Decorative Art sessions, strong prices were realised for unusual lots such as the Ardmore terracotta figural group called The Rider by Josephine Ghesa, which sold for R36 480. Oriental ceramics again proved their strength and timeless appeal when a Chinese Wucai vase sold for R15 680, more than twice its pre-sale estimate of R6 000 - R8 000. Another lot which exceeded expectation was a pair of 19th century Chinese blue and white vases and covers which sold for R14 560, comfortably above their R 8 000 – R10 000 estimate. Silver proved to be consistently attractive to collectors as demonstrated by the price of R29 120 for a pair of silver George III wine coasters.
A Regency terrestrial pocket globe John Newton circa 1818
For collectors of the unusual and beautiful, strong prices were obtained for a two pocket globes that achieved prices of R56 000 and R33 600 respectively, as well as a rare and delicate walrus ivory and bone box which was made in the Archangel district of Russia in 1828. The box sold for R17 920, double is pre-sale estimate of R8 000 – R10 000. The flame-red MGA and MGB motor cars, as well as the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, sold comfortably within their estimates which indicate the enduring appeal of classic and collectable motor cars.
“We are delighted with these results which indicate that the market is returning to its strength, thus mirroring the international sales held in recent weeks in London and New York. The capacity crowd of buyers, both private and the local and international trade, often lifted prices far out of the estimated range. This was further bolstered by the many absentee and phone bids. The results of the sale demonstrate our ability to provide excellent service to our long-established client base, while at the same time attracting new clients both locally and internationally,” says Shona Robie, office manager for the Cape Town office.
Please address any queries regarding this sale or future Cape Town sales to 021 794 6461