Strauss & Co is proud to announce its largest-ever live auction by value, with combined estimates for the November 12 sale in Johannesburg exceeding R80 million.
The astonishing range and depth of work on offer – notably by key 20th-century artists like Maggie Laubser, JH Pierneef, Alexis Preller and Irma Stern – is confirmed by the fact that 26 lots on this sale carry estimates of R1 million or more.
In the decade since its first auction in 2009, Strauss & Co has established the pre-eminence of quality paintings at market. Irma Stern’s 1941 portrait of Mary Cramer, a sister of the artist’s confidante Freda Feldman carries the sale’s highest estimate and is valued at between R5 million and R7 million.
The sale features 11 Stern lots, ranging from a fine selection of her travel and society portraits in oil and gouache, to her exuberant still lifes in oil.
JH Pierneef has 17 works on sale. Best known for his expertly choreographed South African scenes, including Farm Jonkershoek with Twin Peaks Beyond, Stellenbosch, which sold for R20.46 million at a 2017 Strauss & Co sale achieving a world record for the artist, the forthcoming sale features two stylised landscapes from his travels depicting the Seychelles and Dar es Salam. Pierneef and Stern are Strauss & Co’s top-selling artists, followed by Alexis Preller.
In 2010, Strauss & Co registered the first upswing in value of Preller’s work when it sold The Flower King, a late-period metaphorical portrait from 1970, for R 2.89 million. Preller has five works on sale including Apple II, a late-career intaglio with painted hollow that was produced in 1969 (estimate R4 to R5 million).