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Andries Loots Week 18

Monday 17 May 1999 saw an auction of very important South African Painting and Sculpture in Johannesburg by Stephan Welz & Co., in Association with Sotheby's. The auction was a nailbiting experience that saw may records broken and although everybody expected the works to fetch high prices because of the marketing that was done before the time, each and every potential buyer was surprised by the outcome of the results.
Irma Stern
The Grape Pickers
60 x 86cm
Est. R 300 000 - 400 000
Went for R 779 800

Due to the huge interest in the auction only potential buyers were allowed in with pre-booked tickets. The crowd that couldn't be accommodated inside the auction room was housed in the foyer where a TV screen was put up to allow them to follow the auction. When the hammer came down on Lot 235, the auctioneer Mr. Stephan Welz announced that the current total of the sale exceeded that of any other auction held previously in South Africa. This was followed by another announcement after Lot 325, that the total had now doubled the previous highest auction value!

After an exciting five hours where 391 lots found new owners, the auction came to an end. There were sighs of 

Pieter Hugo Naude
Namaqualand Daisies
22 x 28,5cm
Est R 24 000 - 30 000
Went for R 105 830

relief and disbelief and a lot of discussion about the reason for this new interest in the art and the sharp rise in prices. Never before since the opening night when Sotheby's started in South Africa in 1971 has there been such a keen interest in an auction. Could the reason be a market where the players are searching for alternative investments in panic because of the instability created in the equity markets due to our upcoming election or the end of the millennium? Or could the reason simply be that we are now moving towards an international market were our art works are starting to get the prices they deserve?

Gerard Sekoto Gregoire Boonzaier
Gerard Sekoto
A young boy playing with a candle
44,5 x 35cm
Est R 14 000 - 18 000
Went for R 122 540
Gregoire Boonzaier
The Malay Quarter
52,5 x 52,5cm
Est R 50 000 - 70 000
Went for R 211 660