The $3.8 million paid last October for Irma Stern’s “Bahora Girl” was a world record, but it didn’t last long. At Bonhams’ sale of “South African Masterpieces” in London earlier today, a bidder paidÂ $4.94 million for Stern’s “Arab Priest,” well above its $3.2 million high estimate.Â Two other works by Stern sold for over $1 million, as did Alexis Preller’s “Garden of Eden,”Â which fetched $1.2 million, another new artist record. A third was established for Gerard Sekoto, whose “Yellow Houses, District Six” brought in almost $970,000.
The price achieved last year by “Bahora Girl,”Â suggested Bonhams’s Giles Peppiat, helped to focus keener attention on Stern’s work.Â Today’s prices reflect that growing interest, along with the rising stature of South African art. As we reported earlier, it was Bonhams’ fifth annual stand-alone auction for the category.
Read more at Bonhams.