Chest of drawers sold for R2.5m at Cape Town auction

Tammy Petersen, News24

Cape Town - An 18th-century chest of drawers, with an estimated value of between R180 000 and R200 000, was sold for a whopping R2 500 960 at an auction in Cape Town, Strauss and Co Fine Art Auctioneers said on Tuesday.

“This important 18th-century chest of drawers, which was formerly part of the collection of Vergelegen [Estate], was hotly contested between two international buyers on the telephone,” said executive director Bina Genovese.

On the company's website, the chest of drawers was described as a "régence ormolu-mounted rosewood commode".

Cape Town antique dealer Justin Kerrod said collectors were usually “highly educated” and knew what they wanted to buy.

“Obviously there was something very appealing about this to the buyer,” he said.

“If money is not an object, the price won’t make a difference to you. Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it."

The description of the desk went on to include: "A moulded serpentine top above two short and two long panelled drawers, the latter panelled to simulate two short drawers, the short drawers divided by a female mask and strap work, the corners with foliate mounts, the fielded sides with imposing zoomorphic mask handles, with shaped apron on bracket feet with foliate mounts.”

According to Strauss and Co, several other auction records were set.

Erik Laubscher's Women Arranging Flowers sold for R2 000 050. It was painted in the early 1950s when the artist was living in Paris.

A rare early pastel by Penny Siopis sold for R1 136 800.

According to a company spokesperson, the auction “attracted worldwide interest and confirmed the strength of quality items which invariably attract global attention and record prices".