Bonhams worlds first South African art sale in London smashes three auction records

Wednesday 23 May 2007, Bonhams became the first international auction house in the world to hold a sale dedicated to South African art outside of South Africa. Enthusiastic bidders packed the saleroom at Bonhams in London, 101 New Bond Street as three world record prices were smashed by some of the country’s major artists. The total price achieved for the sale realised was £1,422,528 (R20m).

Giles Peppiatt, Bonhams’ Director of South African Art said, “We are delighted with the prices which justifies our decision to sell these pictures in London. The demand for the great South African artists is no longer confined to South Africa – it is now truly an international market. The main South African collectors were outbid on the two major Sterns which fell to clients from our international lists.”

Auction records :
Fetched £38,400 (R537,222) Estimate £10,000 – 15,000
Alexis Preller (South African, 1911-1975) Portrait of a girl 38 x 30.5 cm. (15 x 12 in.)

Fetched £38,400(R537,222) Estimate £18,000 – 25,000
Adolph Stephan Friedrich Jentsch (German, 1888-1977) The Namibia desert 70 x 100 cm. (27½ x 39½ in.)

Fetched £4,500 (R62,806) Estimate £3,000-4,000
Alfred Frederic Krenz (South African, 1899-1980) Colsberg, Northern Cape 47 x 61cm (18 ½ x 24 in)

The top five prices:
Fetched £186,000 (R2,604,461) Estimate £80,000 – 120,000
Irma Stern (South African, 1894-1966) The tomato picker 70 x 50.5 cm. (27½ x 20 in.)

Fetched £138,000(R1,927,105) Estimate £50,000 – 80,000
Irma Stern (South African, 1894-1966) Portrait of a West African girl 54 x 36 cm. (21¼ x 14¼ cm.) unframed.

Fetched £84,000(R1,176,009) Estimate £70,000 – 100,000
Gerard Sekoto (South African, 1913-1993) Wash Day 34 x 23.5 cm. (13¼ x 9¼ in.)

Fetched £81,600(R1,143,650) Estimate £60,000 – 90,000
Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (South African, 1886-1957) Camelthorn tree, Kalahari 45.5 x 61 cm. (18 x 24 in.)

Fetched£45,600(R639,157) Estimate £30,000 – 50,000
Pieter Willem Frederick Wenning (South African, 1873-1921) The White Farmhouse 45 x 61 cm. (17¾ x 24 in.)

Giles Peppiatt will be sourcing more artworks in South African this coming September 2007. The next auction in The South African Sale Series will be held at Bonhams in New Bond Street in January 2008.