Almost R15 million raised, most of it for a new charity in the first ever house contents sale conducted by the rising star of the SA art auction world – at a sell-through rate of almost 82%.
Aspire Art Auctions’ latest sale, on 11 February 2018, was a first all-round sale for the young, dynamic auction business. Although uniquely focused on fine art, they have just had spectacular success with their inaugural sale combining house contents. The Contents of Deodar House comprised over 100 lots of impeccably chosen fine arts, decorative items, antique and modern furniture, luxury jewellery, watches, and wine. The unique point about the sale is that the entire seller’s proceeds will be donated to seed fund a new children’s leukaemia charity, the JELUKA4Good Children’s Leukaemia Fund, is a non-profit organisation established to provide funding for the treatment of children suffering from leukaemia who have no means. The sale achieved the phenomenal sell-through rate of 82%, well above the industry average.
Headlining the success of the auction were several significant works of art. The top seller was a sumptuous still life by Irma Stern, Hydrangeas and St Joseph lilies in the artist’s hand-made ceramic jug, which sold for R4 774 560, against estimates of R3000 000 – 4 000 000. The sale of the fine art lots on the Deodar sale was dominated by an exceptional collection of large outdoor sculpture. Among these, a highly coveted piece by William Kentridge and Gerhard Marx, Fire Walker (2010) achieved a price of R3 978 800.
Other record-breaking successes on the sale were for well-known South African artists Angus Taylor and Willem Boshoff, whose works Sit en Staan (2008) and Clast Mar (2009) respectively attained top prices of R2 159 920 and R682 820. These are world-record prices at auction for both artists, beating previous auction prices by significant margins. A work by respected local sculptor Dylan Lewis, Trans-figure IX, fetched R909 440, well above a high estimate of R500 000.
Other major fine art lots to have done well on the auction included the beautifully subtle painting Marsh Lilies by respected realist painter John Meyer, which achieved a price of R500 192, above the high estimate. There were also pleasant surprises like the sculptural work Forms by Zimbabwean artist Chenjerai Chiripanyanga, which sold for R73 892, well over double its high estimate.
The sale took place in the tranquil and tastefully arranged surrounds of the Deodar House and Gardens, where the large sculptures and central lily pond formed the backdrop to the fierce bidding in the garden marquee.
The furniture lots on the sale, a first for Aspire, proved a massive success, with competitive bidding on almost every lot. A pair of Paul Smith armchairs attracted much attention pre-sale, and sold for R125 048, more than double the high estimate. Then, an antique French oak dining table went for R136 416, also more than double its high estimate, and a set of Louis Ghost Kartell dining room chairs, designed by Phillipe Starck, did the same when they sold for R43 198.