Old Johannesburg Warehouse
Old Johannesburg Warehouse closes out 2020 with a series of auctions showcasing a wide range of antiques, collectables, fine wine and spirits, coins and fine art.
The fine art offering is led by an unusual and never-before-seen religious painting by Ruth Everard Haden of the famous Everard Group. Ruth and Rosamund Everard were the daughters of Bertha Everard, who, along with Bertha’s sister Edith King, made up the remarkable family of women artists who lived in Mpumalanga (formerly Eastern Transvaal) during the first half of the 20th Century and became known as the Everard Group. Their lives in an isolated rural setting meant they were largely untouched by artistic currents and fashions in the country’s urban centres, but their collective output as a Group has had a significant impact on South African art history.
Ruth was the first daughter of her artistic mother, Bertha Everard and was born in 1904 at Nottingham Road in KwaZulu-Natal. She studied art in Cape Town before travelling to London in the 1920s, where she enrolled at the famous Slade School, and then moved to Paris. Subsequent travels to Europe brought her a good grounding in metropolitan artistic styles and movements, including Expressionism, which influenced her simplified and bold use of shape and palette in her work, which was predominantly, as with the rest of the Everard Group, in the genres of landscape and still life. By 1929 she had married and settled on the family farm ‘Bonnefoi’ in Mpumalanga, a location which offered much inspiration for the accomplished landscapes painted by the different artists in the family..
The Everard Group has work hanging in all major South African National Art Galleries including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth, East London, Bloemfontein and Kimberley, as well as collections abroad, including Africa House in London.
The current work on auction is a really interesting and atypical painting in Everard Haden’s oeuvre, combining landscape, religious figuration and an expressionist style, and its presence on auction is a real coup for Old Johannesburg Warehouse. It was commissioned and executed in 1930 for the Anglican church in Beyers, a small town very close to Carolina where the Everards had their family farm. The whereabouts of the painting was in doubt for some years, but it was subsequently rediscovered by the current owner, who is a priest in the area and was friendly with the Everard Haden family. He bought it from the church, which at that time was the diocese of the Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and it has been hanging in his home in Groot Marico ever since.
Other major fine art lots include two excellent examples of the highly collectable still lifes of Frans Oerder, of his trademark flowers, as well as fine work by Ruth Everard Haden’s mother Bertha, and South African Expressionist stalwart Maggie Laubser.
The auction house has also brought one of the finest collections of rare and collectable coins to this year-end sale, and local and international numismatists will be paying close attention. Highlights of the rare coins in an offering stretching to over 100 lots include a rarely seen Five Guinea gold coin from the 17thCentury, as well as a Queen Anne Five Guinea coin from the early 18thCentury. These are the standout lots in an offering that includes many historically significant Boer Republic and Kruger Rand coins.
For details on the OJW year-end Auction extravaganza, go to: www.oldjwauctioneers.com