Mercifully, Strauss & Co’s traditional year-end auction has not been one of the things scuppered by Covid-19. From Sunday November 8 to Wednesday November 11, it is having a live virtual auction of art, decorative arts, jewellery and fine wine.

Joint MD Bina Genovese says: "We have learnt that in a pandemic economy, when collectors pursue their passions remotely, the geographic location of a sale is of secondary importance. This suggested an opportunity to remodel and strengthen the format and content of our live sales by creating a marquee virtual sale to showcase optimally our incredible offerings."

And incredible they are, with a variety of spectacular lots available. We were spoilt for choice when selecting these top picks.

1. Irma Stern’s 1927 oil portrait Swazi Woman (estimate R3m-R4m)

Experts say this work was probably executed in the region of the Ezulwini Valley where Stern attended a ritual dance at the Royal Kraal in Ludzidzini at the invitation of Swazi King Sobhuza II. Painted during a transitional stage in Stern’s career, this important work captures both the artist and her subject coming of age — and it’s gorgeous.

2. Domaine Armand Rousseau Père et Fils, Chambertin, 2010 (estimate R38,000-R60,000)

From a single-owner collection from a private cellar of the most hallowed wines of Burgundy and the northern Rhône, this bottle comes from the family-run Domaine Armand Rousseau, one of Burgundy’s oldest and most revered domaines. It owns many Grand Cru plots in Gevrey-Chambertin as well as part of the highly sought-after Premier Cru Clos Saint-Jacques vineyard. It is known for careful winemaking, which allows for terroir expression and the sparing use of oak and old vines, making for elegant and pure wines that are built for long ageing.

3. Hans Wegner dining table (estimate R180,000-R200,000)

Conceived by Strauss & Co joint MD Vanessa Phillips, the Strauss Interiors session includes Cape, English and European furniture and collectable silverware interspersed with fine examples of 20th-century SA painting. An outstanding lot is a Wegner rosewood dining room suite. In case you need any other inspiration, the print catalogue of these lots includes photographs of beautifully styled displays organised by celebrated interior designer Monique Lion-Cachet. They’re a treat in and of themselves.

4. Scarified conical vessel by Andile Dyalvane (estimate R50,000-R70,000)

Recently celebrated at the creative zenith that is Design Miami, Dyalvane has two lots in the highly anticipated New Collector session, which acknowledges developments and innovations in the contemporary SA ceramics industry. This striking 20cm piece is earthenware with a blue and black glazed interior and with red glazed highlights on the reverse.

The exhibitions are open to the public by appointment. All other details can be found at

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