Live bidding at Stephan Welz and phenomenal results

Live bidding at Stephan Welz and phenomenal results

At the end of May 2013, another exciting Stephan Welz & Co. Decorative and Fine Arts Auction was announced, which would take place in Constantia at The Great Cellar on Alphen Estate, on 4-5 June 2013. While one of the main pieces of interest was a silkscreen by Andy Warhol, which was signed by Warhol and Mick Jagger (the subject of the silkscreen), there were a few other South African pieces that the auctioneers were certain would draw a crowd. This auction was certainly more exciting than an auction dealing with bank repossessed houses!

The Andy Warhol silkscreen was given an estimate of R300 000 to R350 000.

Walter Battiss’s Orgy in Blue was also up for auction with an estimated auction price of R400 000 to R600 000. It’s a large canvas in oil paint of a sexual orgy – the subject matter he became famous for in his intentional anti-censorship, anti-apartheid artistic expression. During the apartheid years, Battiss bemoaned the conservativeness of art in South Africa and he longed for more creativity in galleries and shows. This is what he brought to his own shows and exhibitions, some of which were closed because of their explicit content.

Sidney Khumalo’s St. Francis of Assisi sculpture, which is one of Khumalo’s most famous pieces, was also on auction, with a price estimation of R200 000 to R220 000. Lucas Tandokwazi Sithole’s The Witch, a sandstone head sculpture, was estimated at R700 000 to R900 000 for the auction; and Maggie Laubser’s Die Meidjie, which was on offer for the very first time, was estimated at R900 000 to R1,1 million.

Stephan Welz & Co. opened the live online bidding functionality to these large auctions (at www.thesaleroom.com) so that international bidders and collectors could also get in on the action, especially for the Warhol piece.

So what did the auction results look like?

Andy Warhol’s silkscreen of Mick Jagger sold for R448 000.

Walter Battiss’s Orgy in Blue sold for R257 600.

Sidney Khumalo’s St. Francis of Assisi sold for R728 000.

Lucas Tandokwazi Sithole’s The Witch sold for R784 000.

Maggie Laubser’s Die Meidjie sold for R1 680 000 (added to this was another of Laubser’s works, Portrait of a Woman with a Headscarf, which sold for R1 008 000 on auction).

A Vladimir Tretchikoff painting, The Hindu Dancer, was recently highlighted because the location of woman posing for the painting (Champa Chameli) was discovered. Originally from Springfield in Durban, Chameli had posed for the painting almost 60 years ago. It sold at this Stephan Welz auction for R1 456 000 to a Durban resident.

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