Gramadoelas guestbook to be auctioned

2014-05-13 11:40

The guestbook of the renowned Gramadoelas restaurant in Joburg will be auctioned off tomorrow.

The seven volumes contain the remarks and signatures of a long list of local and international celebrities, politicians and royals.

“It will be auctioned tomorrow [Wednesday] and Thursday in our offices in Mandela Square [in Sandton],” auctioneer Savo Tufegdzic of Stephan Welz & Company said today. “My estimate is that it will go for about R250 000.”

He said the volumes contained a “couple hundred pages”.

“It is from when the restaurant first opened and until it closed. People who went there signed it since 1970,” he said.

“Some people signed it, some drew sketches, and others wrote poems. It’s something you have to see for yourself. It cannot be explained.”

Well-known people who had written in or signed it included former president Nelson Mandela, former ANC stalwart Walter Sisulu, British businessman Sir Richard Branson, former US president Bill Clinton, former South African president FW de Klerk, actors Denzel Washington, Will Smith, and Charlize Theron, musicians Lucky Dube, Brenda Fassie and Stevie Wonder, and Queen Elizabeth II.

Tufegdzic said it was one of 1 100 items – including stamps, coins, bank notes, autographs, and Mandela memorabilia – to be auctioned off in the next two days.

Gramadoelas was established in 1967 in a basement garage in Hillbrow by Brian Shalkoff and his partner Eduan Naude. It later moved to Joubert Park, and then to the Market Theatre in Newtown. It served traditional South African cuisine.

In May last year, Shalkoff was assaulted at his house near Hillbrow during a robbery and died of his injuries on July 1. Laptops, cellphones and cash were taken. Naude subsequently decided to close the restaurant last year.

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