The top lot by value on the sale was the superb Irma Stern: Still life with magnolias, apples and bowl (1949), which fetched R6 828 000. Another significant Stern was sold. Still life with chrysanthemums in the artist’s handmade ceramic jug (1950), sold for R3 414 000.
Aspire has led the auction market recently with sales of work by Peter Clarke. The company has now proved itself to be the premier purveyor of Clarke’s work in the country, achieving a substantial world record for his acrylic and gouache on paper from 1975, Lazy Day, which sold for R1 479 400. The success Aspire has cemented with the market for Clarke was extended with a price of R432 440 achieved for his gouache Sunset at Windemere (1957).
Several works by Cecil Skotnes appeared on the auction. The bestseller among them was The Legend of the Judean War, (1984) which sold for R819 360. A sculpture by Edoardo Villa fetched a world record with Aspire in 2017, when his Vertical composition (1958) sold for R1 818 880. On this sale Villa’s successful association with the company continued, with Sculpture VIII fetching R1 138 000.
In the contemporary segment world records were achieved for an early abstract by Zander Blom, Untitled 1.5 (2010), which fetched R386 920; and for a new artist at auction, Andrezj Urbanski, whose work A0037 47/47/16 (2016) which reached well over its high estimate at R125 180. Finally, another world record for a contemporary artist was reached when Paul Stopforth’s Steve Biko’s Right Hand (1980) sold for R79 660.
Ruarc Peffers, Director, Senior Art Specialist and auctioneer, comments: “It’s clear that our brand values and business approach are finding deep resonance in the market. As our reach expands and our market grows, we remain committed to business ethics and integrity, museum quality presentation, and innovation in the fine art auction industry in the country.”