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South African Art @ Christie's London

Andries Loots
 Week of 23 April 2000


An impressive collection of 20th century South African Art was auctioned at Christie's London on the 18th of April 2000 at their rooms at 8 Kingstreet, St.James, London.

Results were  disappointing, with only about 25 people at the sale. Few people went to the preview held in the book room downstairs on the lower level. International works were displayed in the main rooms and few people even bothered to look for the South African works. Some of the works were badly cracked or damaged and the estimates for works by Muafangejo were too high as many of them were not even signed, none were sold.

Given the economic volatility on the world stock markets preceding the sale, many South African buyers were nervous to spend their Rands. Most of the lots were listed with special conditions resulting in increased buyers commission and VAT. Few people knew about this sale.

It is clear that the rest of the world is not ready for South African art yet and the few works that were sold, were mostly bought by South African buyers by telephone and the works had to be shipped back to were they originally came from.
Overall a very disappointing auction ...

A few results :
Hammer prices quoted do not include commission.

Lot 68
THOMAS BAINES, oil on canvas, 45 x 66cm
Estimate: 40 000-60 000
40 000 Hammer price
Lot 70
THOMAS BOWLER, oil on canvas, 47x63cm
10 000-15 000
22 000 Hammer price 
Lot 80
ADOLPH JENTSCH, oil on canvas, 70 x 100cm
Estimate: 18 000-24 000
Not Sold 
Lot 82
GREGOIRE BOONZAIER, oil on panel, 40x50cm
Estimate: 8 000-10 000
12 000 Hammer price

Lot 89
MAGGIE LAUBSER, oil on canv board, 45 x 55cm
Estimate: 10 000-15 000
13 000 Hammer price 

Lot 91
IRMA STERN, oil on canvas, 86x86cm
70 000-100 000
Not Sold 




Lot 102
JOHN MUAFANGEJO, Woodcut print, 51 x 30cm
Estimate: 2 000-3 000
Not Sold