Mandela prison drawing sells for $112,575 in New York
NEW YORK, May 3, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – A drawing by late South African
president Nelson Mandela of the door of his prison cell on Robben Island —
where he was held for 18 years — sold on Thursday in New York for $112,575.
“The Cell Door, Robben Island” — completed in 2002 by the Nobel peace
laureate — exceeded the top end of the estimated range provided by Bonhams,
which put its value at $60,000 to $90,000.
The wax pastel crayon drawing shows a few bars of the cell door and a key
in the lock, sketched in purple.
The work is one of the few that Mandela — who was jailed for 27 years in
total and inspired the struggle against apartheid — kept until his death in
Mandela’s daughter Pumla Makaziwe Mandela previously had the work in her
South Africa’s first black president did a total of 20 to 25 drawings,
according to Giles Peppiatt, the auction house’s director of modern African
art. Some were reproduced as lithographs to raise money for the Nelson
Mandela was jailed from 1962 to 1990. He was held at Robben Island off
Cape Town from 1964 to 1982. Mandela served as South African president from
1994 to 1999.
Mandela’s drawing was one of six works that surpassed $100,000 at the sale
of African art on Thursday.
Another South African artist, Irma Stern (1894-1966), earned the highest
price of the auction — $312,575 — for “Malay Girl,” a portrait from 1946.