Strauss & Co branches out

Strauss & Co branches out

outh Africa’s premier art auction house, Strauss & Co, is diversifying its sales offering with the launch of two new live auctions at its Houghton premises in Johannesburg on Saturday. Saturday Live, which commences at 11am, offers collectors targeted access to mid-range artworks by established artists.

Strauss & Co’s inaugural Fine Wine Auction, an innovative partnership with online retailer WineCellar.co.za and leading sommelier Higgo Jacobs, will follow it at 3pm.

Commenting on the new wine venture, Frank Kilbourn, Strauss & Co’s executive chairman says: “It is no secret that South Africa has been undergoing a wine renaissance. Clearly the time is right to elevate South Africa’s finest wines – both old and new – to the same degree of collectability as older northern hemisphere wines, as well as professionalise their availability via a transparent auction platform.”

The 180-lot wine auction includes three South African wines that received perfect scores from international critics: Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2015 (estimate R6 000-R8 000, six bottles per lot), acclaimed by Master of Wine Tim Atkin; the GS 1966 Cabernet (estimate R28 000-R32 000), celebrated by wine critic Jancis Robinson; and the Chateau Libertas 1957 from the Winshaw cellar (estimate R36 000-R38 000), feted by Master of Wine Greg Sherwood.

This new auction also spans three centuries from South Africa’s oldest living wine, Jaubert Muscat d’Alexandrie 1800 (estimate R45 000-R55 000), to the latest 2018 vintage.

Other rarities include a Magnum of KWV 1948 vintage port (estimate R28 000-R32 000), as well as the unreleased first vintage of Klein Constantia Vin de Constance, 1986 (estimate R30 000-R40 000).

The pocket-sized catalogue for the preceding art sale is no less studded with gems.

The top lot by value is a mixed-media work on paper by William Kentridge, Deborah Bell and Robert Hodgins, Hotel (Telephone and Man in Hotel Room, Drawing for Animation), which carries an estimate of R1 to 1.2 million. The Gourmet (estimates R300 000-R500 000) by cult painter Keith Alexander depicts a lavish table setting that incorporates a portrait of legendary Johannesburg chef, Jorn Pless of Ma Cuisine.

Value is the key proposition of Saturday Live. Most of the lots on offer carry persuasive estimates, typically below R50 000.

SA artists from all the key time periods are represented alongside select international art. The debut sale includes works by Walter Battiss, Peter Clarke, Conrad Botes, Robert Hodgins, Esther Mahlangu, Ephraim Ngatane, Sam Nhlengethwa, Nelson Makamo and Alexis Preller.

“Saturday Live is part of our strategic plan to diversify our sales programme to better serve the needs of collectors. Saturday Live will be especially attractive to emerging collectors who want to experience the energy of a live sale, and to seasoned collectors looking to augment their holdings with singular pieces in more affordable price ranges,” says Susie Goodman, executive director at Strauss & Co, Johannesburg.

Both sales are repeating and will significantly enhance Strauss & Co’s offering. Each sale is supported by educational workshops and walkabouts aimed at enhancing collector appreciation. These will hosted at Strauss & Co, 89 Central Street.

Info

  • Fine wine educational workshops (booking required)
    Wednesday, June 5, 6.30-8pm
    Thursday, June 6, 6.30-8pm
  • Guided walkabout of lots on Saturday Live
    Wednesday, June, 5 10am and 6pm
    Thursday, June 6, 10am and 6pm
    Friday, June 7, 10am
  • Public preview of lots available on Saturday Live
    Wednesday, June 5, 9am-8pm
    Thursday, June 6, 9am-8pm
    Friday, June 7, 9am-8pm
    Saturday, June 8, from 8.30- 11am

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