Pierneef paintings on auction

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29 July 2009

Three paintings by renowned South African artist JH Pierneef will be auctioned in London on 14 October, Bonhams said on Tuesday.

The three paintings once belonged to Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Princess Alice, the Countess of Athlone, the auctioneer said in a statement.

The paintings include a scene of a town in the Cape, a Karoo landscape with a "typical rural dwelling", and "Government House, Pretoria", all painted between 1886 and 1957.

The Presidential Guesthouse, designed by Sir Herbert Baker in 1902, was known as Government House when the work was painted.

The last Pierneef painting auctioned by Bonhams, "The Boabab Tree", fetched £826 400 (US$1.2-million, or over R12-million), roughly three times its pre-sale estimate, breaking the record for a South African work of art.

In May 2007, Bonhams launched a twice-yearly South African Sale in London, the first international auction of South African art hosted outside the country.

At the first South African Sale, a self-portrait by pioneering black modernist Gerard Sekoto, who died in exile in France in 1993, sold for nearly 10 times its pre-sale estimate, fetching £117 600 ($180 500).

Sapa, with additional reporting by SAinfo

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Bonhams auctioneer Giles Peppiatt selling JH Pierneef's "The Baobab Tree" for £826 400 (US$1.2-million) in London, September 2008 (Photo: Bonhams)

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