A Picasso in your collection used to mean a painting, but these days, it’s his ceramic works that are grabbing the limelight. Picasso ceramics are commanding prices as high as £305 000, as seen at a recent London auction, when a slim-necked vase with painted faces sold for quadruple its estimate. If you’ve ever wanted to own a Picasso, you might just have your chance: a 1952 earthenware Still Life with Spoon dish will be up for auction on 1 and 2 March, 2016, at Stephan Welz & Co. in Cape Town.
“When Picasso’s granddaughter, Marina, auctioned off a number of Picasso ceramics from her own private collection earlier this month, it captured the art world’s attention, which just goes to show how seriously these works are now being taken,” said Shona Robie, Ceramics Specialist at Stephan Welz & Co. “The strong market for Picasso ceramics stems in part from the fact that they are no longer seen as just decorative. The pieces, which feature Picasso’s own quirky designs, are being widely exhibited and are now valued for the artistic credit behind them; which means they are seen as ‘proper Picassos’. That, coupled with the fact that, these ceramics are seen as a serious investment, is driving up prices.”
Previous Picasso ceramic works recently sold by Stephan Welz & Co. have fetched high prices, including a 1959 earthenware Picador and Bull dish, which sold for R246 400 and a 1968 Wood-Owl pitcher, which went under the hammer for R201 600. The ceramic work for sale is a part of an edition of 200 works of the same style, and has an estimated value of R30 000 – R40 000. “Picasso ceramics don’t come up for auction often in South Africa – in fact since 2010 we’ve only handled four pieces – so if you’ve ever wanted a Picasso in your home, this could be your best opportunity,” said Robie.
Picasso ceramics and other art and collectibles will go under the hammer at the Stephan Welz & Co. Decorative and Fine Art Auction in The Great Cellar, Alphen Estate, Alphen Drive, Constantia on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 March 2015. Pre-auction viewing is open to the public from Wednesday 24 February to Sunday 28 February, 10am – 5pm. Catalogues will be available from both the Cape Town and Johannesburg offices as well as the Stephan Welz & Co. website www.stephanwelzandco.co.za.
Anyone who can’t attend the auction in person can bid for pieces online via art and antiques auctions portals www.the-saleroom.com and www.invaluable.com. Users of these websites can search catalogues and place their bids over the internet in real-time, with live audio and video from the auction room.