The priciest Irma?


The priciest jewel in the KWV collection must be Irma Stern’s Harvest (below) which hangs in pride of place in the sensorium in their La Concorde head office in Paarl. One Stellenbosch billionaire offered R24 million for it a couple of years ago and was given the flick. Of course 24 bar is only £1.37 million which is chump change in London.

IMG 3242 615x461 The priciest Irma?

The UK is certainly the place to sell an Irma as the richest 1000 Brits are worth £519bn – “equivalent to a third of the nation’s economic output, and double the figure of five years ago” according to the Guardian. The richest South African must be Ivan Glasenberg but I’m not sure whether he’s even interested in art.

Certainly his classmate Mick Davis is and Mick has been buying big recently. How admirable and risky to collect contemporary artists rather than dead Irmas. Still its a wonderful position for KWV to be in. But when the time comes to sell it will surely be a battle of the billionaires with Harvest quite possibly the first SA painting to break R100 million. Now that’s one heck of a lot of Roodeberg.