Saturday, 2 February 2008

South African Art @ Bonhams, London

'Street Scene,' by Ephraim Mojalefa Ngatane. Estimate: £10,000-£15,000.

Biggest Sale of South African Art is Predicted to Set New Benchmarks

Photocall: Noon, Friday 25 January
Bonhams| 101 New Bond Street, London W1S 1SR

Mandela Rhodes Foundation to Co-Host Sale that Includes Image by Former President.

The second South African art sale at Bonhams New Bond Street will be the most valuable auction of South African art ever held. It is expected that the sale on January 30th 2008 will total £5 million (ZAR 70 Million). The Standard Bank of South Africa is sponsoring a private view and reception before the sale.

Giles Peppiatt, Director of South African Art at Bonhams says: "The demand for high quality South African painting has moved beyond the domestic South African market and it is now truly international. Our last South African sale set five new world records for artists work and we fully expect another similar figure for the January sale. The South African Sale series at Bonhams is now part of London's art events calendar."

"We are honoured to be able to co-host the pre-sale reception with The Mandela Rhodes Foundation and in fact are also offering a work by Mandela himself, an original signed lithograph 'The Window' from the 'My Robben Island' series showing the bars of Mandela's cell with the sea and Table Mountain beyond which is estimated to sell for £10,000 to 15,000."

The major and lead lot in the sale is a hauntingly beautiful study by Irma Stern titled 'Portrait of a Pondo Woman'. This work dates from 1929 and comes from a period in Stern's work when she was exploring the differences in appearance and dress found in the African tribal women. Oils from this period are exceedingly rare and this example is the first of its type to have come on the market for fifteen years. The picture is estimated to sell for £300,000 to £500,000. Another wonderful Irma Stern titled Still Life of Marigolds is estimated to make £250,000 to £350,000.

The artist Dylan Lewis is considered the leading wildlife sculptor worldwide but has decided to change his artistic focus to the human form and will no longer be producing wildlife subjects. The bronze sculpture 'Cheetah sitting II' therefore represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a full size bronze by this artist in his most commercial subject material. It is estimated to attract bids of £25,000 to £35,000.

Other major lots include works by Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, 'Acacia trees on the veld', £60,000 to £90,000; Maggie Loubser, 'The Water Carrier', £30,000 to £50,000; Gerald Sekoto, 'Woman by an empty cupboard', £40,000 to £60,000; and Helen Sibidi, 'Where do we go from here', £30,000 to £40,000.

For further information please contact Julian Roup on 0207 468 8259 or email

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son and Neale UK. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America and in August 2003, Goodmans, a leading Australian fine art and antiques auctioneer with salerooms in Sydney, joined the Bonhams Group of Companies. Today, Bonhams is one of the largest one of the largest and fastest growing auction houses in the world. It offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street, and Knightsbridge, and a further seven throughout the UK. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Boston in the USA; and Switzerland, France, Monaco, Australia, Hong Kong and Dubai. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 50 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, go to (1st June 2007)

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