Bonhams South African Art Sale In London

. January 28, 2009

The first Bonhams South African Art Sale in 2007 attracted paintings and sculpture from the UK and South Africa, but thanks to the growing success of these sales, a wider group of South African expats and nationals is sending art to London.

maggie-laubser.jpgBonhams is holding the next South African Art sale on Wednesday 18 February 2009 sponsored by Maitland, the premium international wealth and professional services firm in conjunction with the Nelson Mandela Childrens’ Fund. A small selection of the pictures will be on view at Bonhams 101 New Bond Street from today until mid January.

Giles Peppiatt, Director of South African Art at Bonhams comments: “The next sale has attracted art from 12 countries including South Africa itself. We are now reaching the much wider South African diaspora. Many South African expats have done extremely well in their new countries of adoption and once they have reached a position of financial security are keen to buy art that reminds them of their South African heritage. Art is thus becoming one of the ties that unite this global community.”

He adds: One of the great pleasures of facilitating these sales is the way that they bring together people and friends who have not seen each other for years. Art is keeping the South African culture alive within the global village. In a strange way this powerful art is keeping feelings of South African ethnicity alive even as former South Africans accommodate themselves to a new culture and a new environment.”

“If I have heard it once I have heard it a thousand times, the statement: `You can take the boy out of Africa but you can’t take Africa out of the boy!’ This fact is one of the reasons that South African art is doing so well. It is a tangible reminder of one’s roots that still binds this community together even though they are spread throughout the world now. And of course word is spreading among non South Africans about the power and growing value of this art.”

The next sale of South African art at Bonhams includes some very potent works by top selling South African artists, Irma Stern, Pierneef, Gerald Sekoto, Maggie Laubser and others.

Some of the top items include:

Maggie Laubser, portrait of an Indian lady with poinsettias, oil on canvas £100,000 to £200,000
Irma Stern (South African, 1894-1966), Still life with watermelon, dated ‘1937’, oil on canvas, £150,000-200,000.
Irma Stern (South African, 1894-1966), Still life of irises, oil on canvas, £150,000-200,000.
Vladimir Tretchikoff (South African, 1913-2006), The Herb Seller, dated ‘1949’ ,oil on canvas, £50,000-80,000, Provenance: Mrs A.S. East, Cape Town; Ex. coll. Mr J.F. Haak, The Minister of Economic Affairs, South Africa.
Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (South African, 1886-1957), Acacia trees in the veld, dated ’53’ (lower right), oil on board, £40,000-60,000

Steve Georgala, Managing Director of Maitland, says: “There has been a surge of interest by foreign buyers in South African art in recent years. This has coincided with the emergence of art investment as an alternative asset class which has a recognized place in a well diversified investment strategy. We are delighted to be able to offer clients and contacts an occasion where they can appreciate the quality and depth of South African art.”

Giles Peppiatt of Bonhams concludes: “South African Art has thus far bucked the current financial downturn. We saw very strong prices achieved at our last sale in September with many world record prices for South African artists and there is no indication that the positive outlook for this art has changed. We are seeing this ‘nationalistic’ trend in other art markets too – Greek and Indian and Iranian Art has done very well in the past few weeks. It seems that where there is a community living outside the home country, the desire to own art that confirms a sense of belonging remains strong. This is allied to the fact that the best work from these art markets is now beginning to find enthusiasts from other cultures. South African art, is no exception. Some of our top buyers are now British collectors, some of whom have bought holiday or retirement homes in South Africa and have fallen under the spell of this wonderful country.”

Auction info http://www.bonhams.com/southafrica

Category: Auction News

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