Auctions are flavour of the month in SA wine with Rael Levitt from Auction Alliance a major force. As he mentioned before knocking down Quoin Rock to Wendy Appelbaum late last year “I want no funny business. You’re dealing with the Cape Town mafia.” And as one interested party noted wryly “he wasn’t joking.” Another auctioneer well acquainted with the wine business is Stephan Welz who knocked down the Nederburg Auction a couple of times.
Stephan is now back knocking down art at Strauss & Co. and the question foaming the spittoon into a froth is whether the William Kentridge Ochre Head (above) inscribed “to Tim from William” which will be knocked down in February, is property of one Tim James, who acts as a publicist for the Swartland appellation? Eben Sadie and his Kentridge labels are a frequent and favourite topic, with Tim reaching ecstasies of hyperbole in the Mail & Guardian with stories like the inimitable “Master of Vine Art” (pun intended) with Tim noting “the labels brilliantly correlate to the wines.” Is Tim now cashing in? A R300,000-R400,000 pay day will come in handy for Tim, who seems to exchanged the gritty working class authenticity of Kenilworth for the suburban charms of Wynberg.
The mystery Tim will be revealed at 8pm on Monday 6 February at the Vineyard hotel – a most appropriate and convenient venue if William’s Tim is Tim James.