CityLife Arts

Stylish and affordable design furniture offered at Aspire X Tonic Fine Design Auction

This first of its kind furniture auction on the African continent closes on November 26

By Edward Tsumele

There is clearly something for everyone who is looking for that South African  designed but with global influenced texture furniture but, did not have the money to afford one or had the money but did not know where to get it. Whether it is something small like an old type writer in perfect working order or that unique couch that has always been in your mind but could not afford it, or did not know where to get one, this auction provides the perfect platform to shop around. And the thing is this offer is on the open market. Granted, prices for some good are clearly not for those whose pockets are leaking and are clearly aimed at the upmarket buyer with a good sense of good furniture and style, and a deep pocket too. The good news though is that some goods, lots of them actually, are affordable at this auction.

Lot 49 Thabisa Mjo, Houtlander and Beauty Ngxongo, Hlabisa bench, designed 2019

I was among those that were invited to a physical Covd-19 conscious official opening of this online furniture auction, the first one of its kind on the African continent. While these are certainly hard times, for a lot of us, who are hard in cash, however for those who have managed to save some money to get something special for their homes, this is clearly the place to shop at. The furniture is not only stylish, both second hand and brand new, but the designers are big names in the game on the South African furniture design landscape.

All lots on view at the Johannesburg gallery until 26 November 2020

“Not only are we bringing something new to the fine art auction that we are known for at Aspire, but we also want to offer this service going forward, and that is furniture auction alongside fine art,” Ruarc Peffers Managing Director of Aspire Auctions told me on the sidelines of the opening function on Saturday, 21 November, 2020, held at their offices in Illovo, Johannesburg.Prices for some of the furniture clearly can suit all kinds of pockets, such as a very nice Danish influenced Design coffee table whose estimate is between R500 to R1000)  that I spotted, and a three seater couch whose price estimate was in the 100s of thousands. The point is this auction sale is designed to suit every pocket you can think of, and the range of goods that are up for auction are for all tastes imaginable in furniture, ranging from the eccentric to the stylish.

For example there is a Grogor Jenkin Studio a prototype round table in collaboration with  William kentridge.

William Kentridge, 2013 Estimate ZAR 80 000 – 90 000 (starting bid ZAR 62 000)

Besides the line between art and design is a fine one, as any lover of fine art and design will happily acknowledge. William Kentridge was the first patron ever to buy a Gregor Jenkin table. Excited by the possibilities of collaboration, Kentridge sent Jenkin pieces of jagged torn paper, the exact shape of which were laser cut to form the table legs of the prototype round table produced by the Gregor Jenkin Studio in collaboration with William Kentridge. cal
Another fruitful collaboration is between House Union Block (formerly known as Spier Artisan Mosaic Studios), designer Laurie Wiid van Heerden, founder of Wiid Design Studio and Glorinah Khutso Mabaso, founder of Renaissance Design, produced the collectable set of three trays.

The trays are crafted from Wiid’s signature cork material, and embellished with a pattern design by Mabaso, inspired by the face and body painting of Ethiopia’s Karo people. This was then translated by Cape Town based House Union Block’s mosaic artisans, Prettynes Marau and Sandile Dlamini, in hand-cut tesserae of smalti—a specialised richly coloured mosaic glass from Italy—and ceramic tiles, made in-house by House Union Block. Aspire X Tonic Fine Design Auction live auction starts @7pm on November 26, 2020.

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