Indigenous sculptures go on auction at Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton

Willem de Sanderes Hendrikz's bronze sculpture of the head of a Pondo will be one of the items up on auction.

A wide range of paintings and sculptures, including rare works commissioned by renowned anatomist and anthropologist, Prof. Raymond Dart went  on auction by Stephan Welz & Co on 28 and 29 March at the Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton.

Notable among the works are bronze sculptures of the heads of a Khoikhoi (Hottentot) and a Pondo male by Willem de Sanderes Hendrikz. They are among seven studies of indigenous peoples commissioned by Dart, best known for his involvement in the 1924 discovery of the first fossil ever found of Australopithecus africanus.

Four works by contemporary sculptor Angus Taylor provide a strong contrast to Hendrikz. Known in South Africa and abroad for his powerful, often large sculptures, Taylor has his own foundry in Gauteng, enabling him to be experimental in his use of materials and techniques.

Stephan Welz & Co is also auctioning what appears to be the only cast of a sculpture by Sydney Kumalo (1935–1988) whose dedication to his art inspired future generations of African sculptors.

“The selection on offer at this auction has something that appeals to most collectors,” said Welz.

“We try to bring to market variety and quality, and I think that once again we have achieved this objective with a wide, eclectic mix of historic and contemporary arts.”

The oil on canvas, Three Men Waiting, by Robert Griffiths Hodgins is expected to attract bids of R600 000 to R900 000. Works by artist John Koenakeefe Mohl will also be at auction. His work captures the vastness of Botswana’s landscape and records scenes of historical importance to the Bechuanas.

An artist likely to have attracted renewed interest in his work is Norman Catherine (1949–) whose oil, wood and mixed media Fanagalo Store was sold on auction in November last year as part of the late David Bowie’s art collection.

Edited by Martha Schungel

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