R2 600 000 for chest of drawers

Last night a chest of drawers sold for close on R2 600 000 at Strauss & Co’s auction in Cape Town drawing gasps from the packed saleroom. This important 18th century chest of drawers, which was formerly part of the collection of Vergelegen, was hotly contested between two international buyers on the telephone.

Several other auction records were set, the most important being for Erik Laubscher ‘s Women Arranging Flowers which sold for R2 000 050 and was executed in the early 1950s while the artist was living in Paris.  Another record was set when a rare early pastel by celebrated artist Penny  Siopis, who recently had a retrospective  at the National Gallery in Cape Town, sold for R1 136 800. This work is regarded as one of the artist’s most important works ever to be sold at auction.

Two other exceptional prices were R193 256 for a 19th century Transvaal rusbank and R261 464 for a Cape silver sugar bowl.

An Art Deco diamond and emerald brooch by the celebrated jewellers Van Cleef and Arpels sold for R400 000.

A spokesman for the company commented after the sale:  “The auction attracted worldwide interest and confirmed the strength of quality items which invariably attract global attention and record prices. “



531         Irma Stern; Still Life of Fruit and Lilies in a jug. Sold for R4 547 200

119         A Régence ormolu-mounted rosewood commode, 18th century. Sold for R2 500 960

538         Erik (Frederik Bester Howard) Laubscher; Women Arranging Flowers. Sold for R2 046 240                                                              WORLD RECORD FOR THE ARTIST

559         Robert Griffiths Hodgins; Clubmen of America: Academy Cadets. Sold for R1 591 520

582         Penny (Penelope) Siopis; Hunting and Nature Scene, triptych. Sold for R1 136 800                                                                         WORLD RECORD FOR THE ARTIST

498         Jacob Hendrik Pierneef; Mission Station, East Africa. Sold for R909 440

579         Robert Griffiths Hodgins; The Man in the Fairground Booth. Sold for R886 704

598         Dylan Lewis; Walking Leopard. Sold for R704 816

561         Maud Frances Eyston Sumner; Lake. Sold for 625 240

573         Robert Griffiths Hodgins; End Game. Sold for 568 400

Image: A Régence ormolu-mounted rosewood commode, 18th century. Sold R2 500 960 (South African auction record for furniture)