Irma Stern Makes New £2.4 Million World Record for South African Art at Bonhams in London

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LONDON.- An arresting image from Irma Stern’s time in Zanzibar, where she was powerfully affected by the beauty of the local Indian women, attracted sustained bidding at Bonhams in London today (27.10.10), achieving a staggering price of £2.4m (R26.42m) double the previous record of R13m. The auction of 151 pictures and sculptures made a total of £6m. Giles Peppiatt, Head of South African Art at Bonhams, said: “ Once again Bonhams has demonstrated the growing interest in South African art and the wisdom of selling in London to an international audience.” The record breaking picture was knocked down to a client bidding in the room, who saw off multiple telephone bidders and others also competing in the auction saleroom. Before the sale Bonhams said it believed this painting, estimated at £600,000 to £900,000 could set a new world record for South African art sold at auction if current trends continued. In the ev