With a long and wet winter endured by many Capetonians, Stephan Welz and Company’s Decorative and Fine Art Auction is sure to finally add a spring to one’s step. Due to take place on 2nd and 3rd October, some exciting and unique works will be on offer – several circuiting the podium for the first time in South Africa. The sale will showcase 1088 lots made up of a variety of South African and international paintings – historical and contemporary, antique and modern furniture, ceramics, silverware, jewellery, books, clocks and carpets.
“With a fantastic closing sale following a successful year, we have certainly saved the best for last.” says Gary Shean, senior paintings specialist of the Cape Town office. “We are very pleased to be offering not one but three quality Irma Stern works on canvas along with excellent examples by South African masters such as Pierneef, Preller, Wenning, Naude, Pemba, Battiss, Hodgins, Laubser and Krige as well as works by contemporary masters such as Stone and Kentridge.” he concludes.
In addition to this, the company are thrilled to be offering three wonderful works by the Cape Town-based artist, Peter Clarke, whose work has captured the keen interest of clients over their last few auctions. Works titled, ‘Ruined Houses at Simons Town. C. P.’ (estimate R180 000 – 200 000), ‘Boy with Buck Teeth’ (R150 000 – R180 000) and ‘Netball Players’ (estimate R100 000 – 120 000), are sure to attract keen interest.
Irma Stern, South Africa’s ‘first lady ‘of Modernism, features strongly with three works titled, ’Fishing Boats, Funchal, Madeira’ (estimate R3 500 000 – 5 000 000), ‘Mother and Child’ (estimate R4 000 000 – 6 000 000)and ’Still Life of Fish and Flowers’ (estimate 2 200 000 – 2 600 000). Such a trio of works by one of South Africa’s leading masters has not appeared since the company’s 2008 October sale.
Other highlights include a very early Maggie Laubser, ‘Seated Figure’ (estimate R250 000 – 300 000) and two works by Vladimir Tretchikoff, ‘Woman with Dahlias’ and ‘Woman with Crayfish’ (estimate R300 000 – 400 000 each).
For the first time in South Africa a work by the celebrated British contemporary artist and member of the ‘Young British Artists’ group, Rachel Whiteread, will be auctioned entitled ‘Switch’ (estimate R 50 000 – 60 000). At times controversial in subject matter, this work is sure to create a stir and draw interest at a local and international level. Alongside this will be an Anton van Wouw bronze Nisini casting of ‘The Skapu-player’ (estimate R 700 000 – 900 000).
Whether English, South African or Oriental, ceramics has something to entice every collector. The highlight for the department on this sale is a magnificent ‘Chinese grey-pottery tomb figure of an ox’ (estimate R400 000 – 600 000), which dates from the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD). The work is accompanied by an Oxford Authentication Thermoluminescence certificate. “Such large and impressive tomb figures are rarely found on the South African market and this quality piece would certainly be a prized addition to any collection” says Shona Robie, director and head of the ceramics department. In addition to this lot, there is a wonderful array of Chinese porcelain and stoneware items on offer.
Another collector’s item up for grabs is a Wedgwood ‘Fairyland Luste’ bowl designed by Daisy Makeig-Jones which is dated 1915-1931 (estimate R15 000 – 20 000). Of a more local origin is a large Esias Bosch panel depicting starlings perched in a tree before an extensive landscape (estimate R180 000 – 200 000). Glass highlights include four lots of VOC glass wares dating from the 18th century - all of which were previously on loan as part of the Vergelegen collection on the Vergelegen Wine Estate since the early 1990s.
One of the most interesting lots to be offered in the evening furniture session are four yellowwood columns (estimate R32 000 - 42 000). Previously used to support the south aisle roof and gallery in the Grahamstown Cathedral, they were removed when the gallery was taken down and the roof re-done due to its instability. The yellowwood was stored and subsequently these four columns have re-emerged as part of our October sale. This is a unique opportunity for a buyer to acquire a piece of Cape history.
“We are very pleased with our selection of good quality furniture on offer in each of our sessions in October. Whether you’re into modern, bright, contemporary trends or prefer classic proportions and elegant lines - we have it all.” comment Anton Welz, director and head of furniture and Sophie-Louise Fröhlich, furniture specialist of the Cape Town office.
Amongst the plethora of quality Chinese furniture on offer, it is difficult to highlight only one piece. The Northern Chinese cinnabar red lacquered cabinet (estimate R130 000 - 150 000), however, is a fine example of the refined taste of the Ming Dynasty elite. It displays the elegant simplicity of design and construction associated with the finest furniture of the Ming Dynasty.
Besides a good quality ‘George III mahogany chest-on-chest’ and a stunning ‘Victorian mahogany, birds-eye maple, bone and mother-of-pearl inlaid chest of drawers’, a lovely, colourful and fun range of designer furniture graces the podium in October as well. Amongst these well known names is a Rietveld ‘The Red Blue Chair’ and a Sowden ‘Red-and-Yellow d’Antibes Cabinet’. In addition to this, a selection of chairs, cabinets and lamps brings diversity to this collection, each ought to find a way into a contemporary lover’s home.
Deserving special mention on the clocks front is a beautiful 1816 ‘French ormolu portico clock’ by P. Le Dupuia (R40 000 – 45 000). In mint condition and having been cared for lovingly by its owners, it is truly a wonderful piece. For the Jürgen Schadeberg fans, we have one of his iconic photographs coming up, ‘The Three Jazzomolos,’ which captures the jazz spirit in the 1950s and the creative atmosphere surrounding it.
A selection of exquisite jewellery pieces are available such as a ‘diamond and pearl necklace’ (estimate R40 000 – 50 000) and a ‘Tourmaline and diamond pendant necklace’ (estimate R20 000 – 30 000). The silver department is delighted to be showcasing a twelve place setting set of Georg Jensen ‘Continental’ pattern cutlery (estimate R60 000 – 80 000). Born in 1886 in Copenhagen, Jensen started training as a goldsmith at the age of 14 and designed his first before-mentioned set in 1906 drawing inspiration from the Old Danish wooden spoons. A ‘German silver seven-light candelabrum’ (estimate R65 000 – 75 000) is also a highlight for the silver department this sale. This elegant work of art would stand out by complimenting many a dining room table.
Books offer over one hundred lots on this sale, predominantly composed of art books. There is a collection of rare and out of print books regarding travels in South Africa and to the interior of Africa such as a signed and limited edition copy of Irma Stern’s ‘Congo’ (estimate R20 000 – 25 000)
Having consigned works over a broad spectrum, this sale is sure to encompass South African art at its best, providing a platform for buyers at any level to start a collection.
The auction is set to take place at our Saleroom in The Great Cellar, Alphen Estate, Alphen Drive, Constantia. Pre-auction viewing is open to the public daily from 28th
September. Catalogues are available from both the Cape Town and Johannesburg offices as well as on our website www.stephanwelzandco.co.za
. For more information, contact 021-794-6461 or e-mail email@example.com