Sculpture ‘found’ in PMB sells for R500k

2017-06-07 13:45
Strauss & Co general manager Susie Goodman and fine art specialist Alastair Meredith holding the Anton van Wouw sculpture that had been discovered during their Pietermaritzburg evaluation day in March this year. The artwork was sold for R500?000 on Monday night. (INSET) Jacob Hendrik Pierneef’s painting Farm Jonkershoek with Twin Peaks Beyond, Stellenbosch was sold for R20?462?400 at an auction in Johannesburg on Monday. PHOTOS: Ian Carbutt/Strauss & Co

Strauss & Co general manager Susie Goodman and fine art specialist Alastair Meredith holding the Anton van Wouw sculpture that had been discovered during their Pietermaritzburg evaluation day in March this year. The artwork was sold for R500?000 on Monday night. (INSET) Jacob Hendrik Pierneef’s painting Farm Jonkershoek with Twin Peaks Beyond, Stellenbosch was sold for R20?462?400 at an auction in Johannesburg on Monday. PHOTOS: Ian Carbutt/Strauss & Co

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An Anton van Wouw sculpture, which was discovered in Pietermaritzburg this year, sold for R500 000 at an auction at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg on Monday night.

The bronze sculpture titled Shangaan went under the hammer for half a million rand, beating its presale estimate of R350 000.

Van Wouw’s stunning head-and- shoulders bronze artwork had been owned by three generations of a Pietermaritzburg family.

The family decided to part with the sculpture after attending auctioneers Strauss & Co’s evaluation day at the Tatham Art Gallery in March.

According to Strauss & Co fine art specialist Alastair Meredith, Shangaan had been crafted in the early 20th century in Rome.

He described the artwork as “remarkable and one of Van Wouw’s most sought-after”.

Meredith said four artworks by Van Wouw were sold on Monday.

“They did very well. The artworks were sold way beyond their presale estimate. Anton van Wouw continues to be a very popular and sought-after South African artist,” he said.

However, the biggest attraction of the auction was Jacobus Hendrik (JH) Pierneef’s painting Farm Jonkershoek with Twin Peaks Beyond, Stellenbosch which sold for R20 462 400.

The price paid for the Pierneef shattered its presale estimate of R6 million to R8 million. This is the second highest price ever achieved for a painting sold at auction in SA.

Strauss & Co beat their own record of R73 million in sales achieved in March this year at their Cape Town auction, with a total of R89 million.

“We are incredibly amazed by this achievement,” said Strauss & Co general manager Susie Goodman.

Enthralled by the success of Pierneef’s work, which he discovered in Mpumalanga, Meredith described the painting as a “wall power”.

“It is a very important piece of Pierneef’s work in history. We knew that it was a special artwork from the onset and it stood a chance to smash the record. We are very happy about that,” he said.

He said the painting had been part of a private collection and was last seen in public in the 1920s. “Even scholars tracing Pierneef’s footsteps never knew anything about it. It was presented to the public for the first time in three generations,” said Meredith.


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