Strauss & Co's May auction: Modern and contemporary art and diamond jewellery

Friday May 17 - Tuesday May 28       89 Central St, Houghton
Strauss & Co's two-part live auction on Tue, May 28 brings together a phenomenal catalogue of works by Dumile Feni, Mmakgabo Helen SebidiMaggie Laubser, Esther Mahlangu, George Pemba, J.H. Pierneef, and Gerard Sekoto, among a host of South African art greats. 

Even if you don't plan on bidding on anything, the preview exhibition at Strauss & Co's Houghton showroom is a rare chance to see these museum-quality works in person. For the magpies, The Diamond Edition jewellery sale kicks off on Fri, May 17.


Irma Stren's paradisiacal 1930 portrait Cape Girl with Fruit leads the 85-lot catalogue for the premier evening sale. This important, large-scale work records the beginnings of Stern's celebrated and sensual style. Alexis Preller's sun-drenched beach scene, Fisherman Mending Nets, joins the chorus – created during the artist's visit to the Seychelles in 1949. Currently the subject of a career retrospective at Norval Foundation in Cape Town, Preller has two works in the evening session, while Stern has five.

The evening sale offers a representative survey of South African art, from its early beginnings with painters like Frans Oerder and Pieter Wenning, through the emergence of black modernist canon with figures like George Pemba and Gerhard Sekoto, up to the vibrant present day. 
Vladimir Tretchikoff’s Chrysanthemums in a Vase is one of many excellent painted works on offer. Photo: Strauss & Co

Painting features strongly across both the day and evening sales, including the evergreen Vladimir Tretchikoff’s Chrysanthemums in a Vase, Pemba's 1989 portrait Author and Artist, and Sekoto's Mother and Child. Two charcoal drawings by William Kentridge – whose career we reflected on during Strauss & Co's 2023 Auction Week – anchor the contemporary offering.

The evening sale includes an important Nisini foundry casting of Anton van Wouw’s bronze Slegte Nuus, and three works by contemporary sculptor Dylan Lewis. Sculptor is an especially strong focus in the catalogue for the day sale, featuring work by Deborah Bell, Andries Botha, and Diane Victor, among others.

Strauss & Co's online day sale of modern and contemporary art ends on Tue, May 28 at 14:00, while the live-virtual evening auction starts at 19:00 on Tue, May 28.


The Diamond Edition auction is the epitome of luxury. Photo: Strauss & Co.

If you're interested in all things sparkly, Strauss & Co's auction of luxury earrings, ornate brooches, and dress rings is for you. With a particular focus on diamonds, there are 105 lots of exquisite jewellery pieces from brands like Cartier, Bvlgari, Boucheron, and Tiffany & Co to choose from. Viewings are by appointment only; contact

The Diamond Edition online day sale starts on Fri, May 17 and ends on Mon, May 27, while the live-virtual evening sale takes place on Mon, May 27.



Open 08:30–16:30. Closed Sat, Sun. May 17 2024 - May 28 2024
Strauss & Co
89 Central St, Houghton
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