SECURITY was tight in the run-up to the first-ever auction of an original Picasso in Africa.
The piece went under the hammer at the Stephan Welz & Co auction in Con-stantia, Cape Town, last night. Au Cirque, a 1954 crayon drawing by the Spanish artist, had a reserve price of R3-million and attracted attention from local and interna-tional collectors and dealers. The Picasso, which depicts two men, a horse and a bare-breasted woman, eventually went for its R3-million asking price to an unidentified telephone bidder. Although the picture was not drawn in Picasso’s Cubist style for which he became famous, it was an investment, said painting specialist at the auction house, Gary Shean. “These types of works don’t go back into the market in a hurry. Very often a work will come back These types of works don’t go back into the market in a hurry into circulation once the person