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THE PROP HOUSE AUCTION (article first published : 2006-08-13)

Items that have been crafted and created by top industry professionals for use in film and television productions are increasingly recognised as a new form of art.

If you’re a movie buff – or simply have an eye for the unusual – don’t miss one of South Africa’s biggest auctions. One thousand lots of items from The Prop House hiring company that have featured in movies such as I Dreamed of Africa, Lord of War, Blood Diamond, The Flood and Ask the Dusk (starring Colin Farrell) will be auctioned by Rudd’s Auctioneers in Cape Town on August 19 and 20.

The Prop House's current premises, the six storey old Synod building in Gardens, is to be redeveloped. The Prop House owners, Tess Wolpe and Will Hinton, are relocating their business to Paarden Island to concentrate on classic, modern, period furniture and smalls. Many items on the auction are one-offs, others have been handpicked by Tess and Will on overseas trips and local auctions.

Items that will go under the hammer include Philippe Starck classic Italian furniture and a pair of original 1950’s US skyscraper lamps; a 1950s black leather relaxer chair and ottoman, probably from the renowned Herman Miller factory in Chicago, bought in London; additional design items by Corbusier, Eileen Gray, Joe Colombo, Eames, Zanotta, Conran, Zoefig and others.

Also to be auctioned are animal skin rugs and trophies, plus vintage bicycles and prams; restaurant tables, chairs, bar counters, lounge and dining furniture; office desks, chairs and accessories, including an Art Deco burr walnut office suite; medical equipment, wine barrels, camping equipment and travel goods; and antiques, fine art, china, metalware and collectables.

“These eclectic items have been collected over the past nine years with style and imagination,” says Charles Rudd, of Rudd’s Auctioneers. “It will be a large and diverse auction which is expected to have wide appeal – not only from movie fans, but other interested buyers. Restaurant owners can stock up on chairs, tables, and décor items; home owners and decorators can pick up garden furniture, china and ornaments; there are fishing and nautical props ideal for a designer seaside home; animal skin rugs, trophies and leather suitcases to suit colonial décor; plus office furniture and accessories in pristine condition.”

The auction also offers covetable classic cars, under the hammer from 13h30 on August 20. The most valuable models include a limited edition 1960 Porsche 356B Cabriolet (estimated value R520,000 – R580,000) and a 1961 Jaguar 3.8 MK2 (R160,000 – R200,000); and more affordable cars such as a 1963 Lancia Flammia coupe (R40,000 – R60,000) and a 1980 Lincoln Continental MK III V8 Auto (R30,000 – R50,000).

The spectacular stained glass wall in the building foyer will be donated to the SA Heritage Resources Agency. Toys used as props have been donated to the Community Chest for distribution to underprivileged children.

Potential bidders can browse through the extensive online catalogue on www.rudds.co.za

Items can be viewed at the old Synod building, Orange Street (corner Grey’s Pass) Gardens Cape Town from August 13 to 17 from 10h00 to 16h00 (August 18 from 10h00 to 13h00).

The auction will take place on August 19 and 20 over four sessions starting at 10h00 and 13h30 on each day.

More information from Rudd’s Auctioneers Charles Rudd on 021 426 0384.




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