SA art to fetch top prices at London auction
Cape Town - A Tretchikoff that once belonged to apartheid politician Jan Haak is among several South African artworks to be sold on auction in London on Wednesday.
The Herb Seller will go under the hammer at the Bonhams South African Art auction. It is expected to fetch between £80 000 and £120 000 (R1.1 million and R1.6m).
Haak owned The Herb Seller while he was minister of economic affairs in the late 1960s. It has been claimed that the painting was then sold to the former ambassador to the US and minister of foreign affairs, Pik Botha. His wife, Ina Botha, said in a letter to the Cape Times in February that it was a friend of her husband’s who had bought The Herb Seller.
Another iconic Tretchikoff, Chinese Girl, which has been widely reproduced, is expected to fetch between £300 000 and £500 000.
An American woman, Mignon Buhler, bought the picture from Tretchikoff in Chicago when he was touring the US in the 1950s. It is being sold by Buhler’s granddaughter.
The semi-nude painting, Portrait of Lenka (Red Jacket), of Tretchikoff’s lover, set a record for his work when it was sold for £337 250.
The work of another South African artist, Stanley Pinker, will also be auctioned. His Merete and Stephen in a Garden is expected to sell for between £200 000 and £300 000. The painting is of the artist’s children playing in the backyard of their Tamboerskloof house.
Eight South African works from the collection of actor Anthony Quinn, who died in 2001, will also be offered for sale.