• Piece of work

    Piece of work

    Over the past nine years, international fine art auction house Bonhams (headquartered in London) has sold more than ZAR1 billion worth of South African art.

    According to a Mail & Guardian Africa report, the healthy status of the African art scene was confirmed with the recent fetching of ZAR17.2 million for an Irma Stern painting. Titled Arab in Black, it was first sold on auction in the 1950s to help fund Nelson Mandela’s legal costs at the time.

    The most expensive South African artwork sold by the auctioneers was Stern’s Arab Priest, for ZAR34.4 million in 2011 and Bahora Girl, which sold for ZAR26.4 million a few months earlier.

    Other African countries that produce the most valuable pieces include Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Angola and Senegal.

    23 February 2016
    Image: Gallo/GettyImages