Money and Markets

Four South African paintings were sold for more than R1 million each in one evening

Business Insider SA

Still Life with Coffee Pot and Fruit by Erik Laubscher.
  • Four South African paintings were sold for more than R1 million each at an auction in Cape Town last night.
  • Erik Laubscher's Still Life with Coffee Pot and Fruit' fetched the highest price of R2.273 million.
  • The Still Life with Coffee Pot and Fruit piece set a new world record for his Still Life compositions.

Four paintings by South African artists fetched more than R1 million each at the auction house Strauss & Co's late-summer auction last night in Cape Town.

A work by the late Erik Laubscher, who was the first living artist in South Africa to have sold a painting for a million rand, set a new world record of R2.273 million for his Still Life compositions - one of the pieces from the Still Life collection, Still Life with iron and Fruit sold for R2 million last year.

The auction house says the Coffee Pot and Fruit painting which, previously sold for R1.8 million, was picked up by an art advisor on behalf of an anonymous client. 

Art consultant Simon MacLennan from African Art Consultants, tells Business Insider South Africa that the price will likely drive interest in Laubscher's other works, driving up the value of his other paintings.

The highest price ever achieved for a South African painting was R21.166 million for Irma Stern's Two Arabs oil-on-canvas back in 2011, also at a Strauss auction. Strauss & Co's auction last night achieved R37.7 million in sales. 

The three other paintings that fetched more than a million each at the auction are:

Reclining Nude by Irma Stern from 1962 sold for R1.136 million

Reclining Nude by Irma Stern.

Gerard Sekoto's The Donkey Water Carrier (circa 1939), from the artist's formative Sophiatown period, sold for R1.079 million

The Donkey Water Carrier by Gerard Sekoto.

Alexis Preller's The Herald (1955), a collage of Egyptian and Beninese motifs laid down on a panel, fetched R1.023 million

The Herald by Alexis Preller.

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