The South African art and antiques auctioneers are commanding record prices and attracting noteworthy internationals. The trend has driven wealth managers to pay new attention to art as a serious asset class.
A Joan Miro aquatint print achieved an international record with a sale of R265 000 last week by Russell Kaplan Auctioneers – more than double the lower pre-sale estimate.
A Russell Flint crayon-and-chalk drawing fetched ten times its lower estimate, reaching a hammer price of R70 000 – a South African record for a work in this medium by Flint. A Henry Moore drawing of a woman sold for R110 000 – again more than double the lower pre-sale estimate.
A Maud Sumner oil of a still life in a window also fetched R140 000 – 40% higher than the lower presale estimate. Daniel Rakgoathe’s original works sold for prices ranging between R16 000 and R28 000, significantly surpassing the pre-sale estimates of R3 000.
” Rakgoathe’s work, along with other Rorke’s Drift artists such as Cyprian Shilokoe has been drawing strong interest and good results,” says Russell Kaplan.
Kaplan explained that his catalogues get exposure on international auction sites Art Price and Artnet which drives international interest in his auctions.
AlphaWealth CEO, Kerry Fynn says that investment in art has proved to be an excellent diversification strategy. “This asset class can offer great returns over time,” he said.
According to Kaplan, the furniture, jewellery and object sessions are equally buoyant. A pair of Chinese merchant chairs sold for R22 000 and a Zanzibari table fetched R42 500 at the most recent auction.
“A Lorenzl Art Deco figurine reached R20 000 and a Victorian birdcage in working condition caused quite a stir. Featuring two love birds that sing to each other, the piece fetched R9 500, far exceeding expectations.”
“The top end of the art market remains in good shape,” concludes Kaplan, adding that he is inviting consignments for the company’s next art and antique auction.