Irma Stern Painting Sets New World Record

A client bidding on the saleroom floor at London auction house Bonhams doubles the existing world record for a South African art work bought at auction

Giles Peppiatt, Head of South African Art at Bonhams, in front of Stern’s 1945 oil on canvas Bahora Girl
LONDON — Seventeen days after a successful bid of R12-million (R13.3-million including for buyers premium)
for Irma Stern’s still life Gladioli at a Cape Town auction established a new world
record price for a South African artist paid at auction, a client
bidding on the saleroom floor at London auction house Bonhams doubled
the existing record, paying R26.4-million (or £2.37-million in buyer’s premium) for a Stern portrait of an Indian woman from her pivotal Zanzibar period.

The 1945 work, entitled Bahora Girl and acquired directly
from the artist by a forebear of its current owner, carried an initial
top estimate of R10-million (or £900,000). The
successful bidder is reported to have fended off “multiple
telephone bidders and others also competing
in the auction saleroom”, according to a press statement appearing on
Bonhams’ website.
Bonhams Lot No. 40: Irma Stern, ‘Bahora girl’, 1945, oil on canvas, 87 x 71cm within original Zanzibar frameStrauss and Co Lot no 163: Irma Stern, ‘Gladiloli’, 1939, oil on canvas

CORRECTION: When this article was originally posted on October 28, the buyer of Stern’s Gladioli was mistakenly credited as Gordon Schachat.The work was in fact successfully bid for by Cape Town dealer Louis Schachat, of Die Kunskamer, on behalf of an anonymous client; neither of the two parties are in connected to Gordon Schachat or the gordonschachatcollection. We apologise for the error.