Archive: Issue No. 125, January 2008

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Irma Stern

Irma Stern
Portrait of a Pondo woman 1929
oil on canvas
58.5 x 44.5cm

Gerard Sekoto

Gerard Sekoto (undated)
The Shebeen, Sophiatown
oil on canvas
24 x 31cm

Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi

Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi
The Hope is Twisted
56 x 81cm
William Kentridge

William Kentridge
The Bird Catcher (undated) archival pigment print
151 x 108cm

South African Art Auction in London
by Sue Williamson

An auction to take place at Bonham's in London on January 30 2008 is being billed as the most important auction of South African art ever to take place in one of the world's major art centres.

Collectors and museums all over the world will be watching closely to see exactly what prices the widely ranging art on offer will fetch as an indicator of the true state of interest in art from this country.

Historic work on offer ranges from two fine mixed media paintings by Frederick Timpson l'Ons (1802 - 1887) , Young Xhosa Woman in European Dress (estimate R61 000 to R91 000) and The Kaffir Chief (estimate R30 000 - R46 000) to Irma Stern's Portrait of a Pondo woman, the painting on the cover of the catalogue (estimate R4,600,000 to R7,600,000).

Contemporary works include lithographs and other prints by Willam Kentridge, with estimates ranging from R23 000 to R230 000 for individual works, to a set of eight watercolour designs for masks, signed WK and dated 1991, estimated at R610,000 to R910,000 for the set.

A beautiful Mmakgabo Helen Sebidi pastel entitled The Hope is Twisted will be a bargain for somebody if it is not sold well above its pre-sale estimate of R15 000 to R23 000. More than 20 Gerard Sekoto works are on offer, ranging from excellent examples of his early works, like The Shebeen, Sophiatown (R230 000 to R300 00), to much less interesting works from his later years.

Other important artists represented on the sale include Pierneef, Dumile Feni, Tretchikoff, Cecil Skotnes, and Norman Catherine.

So certain are Bonhams of the solid interest in the local art market, that a second South African Art Sale is scheduled for September 2008. Entries are invited.