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Year-end sale offers opportunities to make value-for-money purchases

Ashbey’s Galleries’ year-end auction will be one of its most diverse of the year, with surprises in store for collectors and opportunities for buyers to make value-for-money purchases, according to auctioneer Inge Beck-Roberts.

The sale will take place at Ashbey’s Cape Town premises at 10am on 7 December.


The wide variety of collectables on offer will include ceramic pieces by Clarice Cliff, the highly acclaimed English ceramic artist who was active from 1922 to 1963.

“She began her career as an apprentice potter, and as a result of her talent and ability became a ceramic artist and the head of the artistic department in the factory in which she worked,” says Beck-Roberts. “Her works are highly sought-after by Art Deco ceramic collectors.”

Beck-Roberts adds that no less than 10 lots of Cliff’s works will go under the hammer in the upcoming sale.

“Also on offer will be a 115-piece blue Italian Spode service, Victorian and South African Military dress swords, various Chinese and Japanese objets d’art, a Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos clock, mantel and longcase clocks, a Fornasetti Milano ice bucket, sculptures and tea caddies. This category is diverse and collectors will not be disappointed.”

Silver and silverplate

Beck-Roberts says that silver is an area which still offers countless opportunities for today’s buyers and collectors to make value-for-money purchases that could become promising investments in the longer term.

“Eighty-eight lots of silver and silverplate will go under the hammer, ranging from early 19th-century to mid-20th-century pieces. A highlight in this category is a George III silver teapot, London 1795, by Peter and Ann Bateman.”  She adds that this category will include tea and coffee sets, tea caddies, trays, baskets, perfume bottles and cutlery sets, across the spectrum from English and Irish to Continental pieces.


More than 100 lots of yellow and white gold, platinum, diamond and multistone rings, bracelets, earrings, lockets, pocket watches and pendants will go under the hammer. “Pieces that epitomise glamour and capture the splendour of bygone ages will be available for both women and men,” she says. “The auction will also provide an opportunity to shop for Christmas in a peaceful environment.”


Beck-Roberts quotes Leonardo da Vinci, who once said, “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”

The art collection that Ashbey’s will have on offer encompasses South African and international works, ranging from oils and watercolours to mixed media, she says. 

“The landscape genre is a strong feature of South African art. Highlights will include landscapes by Gregoire Boonzaier, J H Pierneef and Herman van Nazareth.”

Irma Stern, “the darling of South African art”, will be represented at the auction by a pencil sketch on paper, entitled ‘Portrait of a Young Man’, and signed and dated 1931, she says.

The sale will also include seven works by Battiss, the highlight being an oil-on-board entitled “At the Beach”, and signed and dated ’58.

“Great anticipation also surrounds Maggie Laubser’s ‘Figure in a Red Coat’, an oil-on-board, signed and dated ’58,” she says.

Beck-Roberts adds that contemporary art is an important feature of every Ashbey’s sale, and this time works by Lionel Smit, and a number of works by Christiaan Diedericks, Heike Allterton Davis and Keith Hamilton Dietrich will be on offer.

The sale will also compliment internationally acclaimed British artist Henry Spencer Moore (1898-1986), six of whose works will be on offer, she says.


The selection of furniture that will be available in the auction represents the fashions of four centuries. “The buyer’s choice can be dictated by their personal taste, as antiques of all periods can be added to a modern setting with remarkable effect,” says Beck-Roberts.

In the furniture category will be VOC chests, dining tables, wardrobes, dining and armchairs, a military chest, a chest-of-drawers, linen presses, buffets and writing tables, to mention just a few of the many pieces on offer, she adds. “A highlight in the furniture category is a fine example of a late 18th-century Dutch oak armoire.” 

All the auction items may be viewed at Ashbey’s premises: 43 Church Street, Cape Town, from 9.15am to 1pm on Saturday, 2 December, and from 9.15am to 3.30pm on Monday, 4 December, and Tuesday, 5 December. The viewing will end at 2pm on Wednesday, 6 December.

The auction catalogue is available from Ashbey’s office, or may be viewed online at www.ashbeysgalleries.co.za and www.thesaleroom.com.

For further enquiries, call Ashbey’s on 021 423 8060 or email the auctioneer directly at inge@ashbeysgalleries.co.za.

LANDSCAPE: The art collection in Ashbey’s upcoming auction will encompass South African and international works. The landscape genre is a strong feature of South African art, and one of the highlights of the auction will be this 35 by 45cm oil-on-canvas by Gregoire Boonzaier (1909-2005), which is signed and dated 1948, and estimated at R60 000 to R80 000.

CLARICE CLIFF: The wide variety of collectables on offer will include ceramic pieces by highly-acclaimed English ceramic artist Clarice Cliff.

DUTCH OAK ARMOIRE: This late 18th-century Dutch oak armoire (Lot 401) will be a highlight in the furniture category and has a pre-auction estimate of R80 000 to R120 000.