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Decorative arts online-only sale offers nostalgic glimpse into the past

The collection includes objects such as an early mandolin, an egg stand, butter churns, a wagon-jack and “voetstofies" or footwarmers - little cases that warmed the cold feet of past generations.

South Africa’s leading auction house Strauss & Co is pleased to announce highlights of its August 2022 online-only decorative arts sale. The sale offers collectors an interesting selection of Cape Country furniture and objects, silver, ceramics and jewellery.

“Included in the sale is a session titled “Cape Country Collection: 40 years of collecting” and features pieces from a single Eastern Cape collector,” says Vanessa Phillips

“Most of the pieces in the collection are all functional objects – the collector favoured homely, provincial furniture and utilitarian objects that were used daily by their owners. It offers us a nostalgic glimpse into another era – many might have been encountered in a grandparent or even parent’s home, depending on your age.”

The collection includes objects such as an early mandolin, an egg stand, butter churns, a wagon-jack and “voetstofies” or footwarmers – little cases that warmed the cold feet of past generations.

“One of the noteworthy pieces in this session is a 19th-century Cape teak, wit-els and steel wheelbarrow (est. R 6 000 – 8 000). This handmade wheelbarrow was probably an early commission with the carpenter putting incredible effort into its design, workmanship, and functionality. It has a lattice back to lean plants against and a flat platform, so your plants do not fall over. During our assessment we also proclaimed it in full working order,”  says Phillips.

Another interesting item up for sale is a teak metal-bound ‘Shakespearian’ butter churn, from the Hathaway Maker family firm in Chippenham, England. (est. R 4 000 – 6000). The British company made thousands of butter churns and large numbers of their products were exported overseas, in particular to South Africa and South America.

In a second session, Strauss and Co are offering a single-owner collection of pieces assembled by a Dutch Collector. “Two standout pieces from this session are a beautiful early 19th century Dutch walnut and marquetry display cabinet (est. R 20 000 – 30 000), and a 20th century oak hanging wall cabinet. (est R 4 000 – 6 000).”

The session also features a small collection of silver Dutch “dragée boxes” which are fine pieces and architectural in their appearance, inspired by furniture and Dutch houses. “These pocket-sized boxes were often inscribed with love mottos. The sweets that were stored inside were known as kissing comfits – they were little perfumed lozenges that sweetened your breath – as dentistry wasn’t particularly well developed in the 18th and 19th centuries,” she remarks.

“There are interesting lots of silver that span 250 years of craftsmanship – from George II right through to Elizabeth II,” she adds.

If you’re planning on proposing, planning a wedding, or shopping for a gift for a special occasion there are also some exceptional pieces of jewellery on auction. One of the notable pieces is a bezel-set single stone round brilliant-cut diamond and 18ct gold ring, (est. R25 000 – 30 000) as well as two 1973 18ct gold bands from South African goldsmith and designer of distinction, Peter Cullman.

Included are strings of pearls, a standout example being a two-strand baroque pearl necklace (R 8 000 – 10 000) and a watch from luxury Swiss producer, Ebel.

Strauss& Co’s August online-only auctions presented by its decorative arts, wine, and art departments all open for bidding on Monday, 22 August at 8.00 am. The auctions close on Monday, 29 August as follows:

Decorative Arts at 6pm (A Cape Country Collection, Silver, Furniture, Ceramics, Jewellery)
Wine at 7pm (Cape Heritage Wines)
Art at 8pm (19th Century, Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art – with a Focus on artists linked to the Eastern Cape,  as well as a dedicated Welgemeend session  with all proceeds going towards preservation and conservation of Welgemeend Manor House in Cape Town. 

Browse the auctions and register to bid: www.straussart.co.za.

Video:   https://youtu.be/LR9goq4jBjQ

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