Strauss & co - 5 June 2017, Johannesburg

15 Because Andries Johannes (AJ) and Louise Theron only had children late in their married life, the couple spent their money on collecting South African art. He was from missionary stock, his great-grandparents working in the Paarl district in the Cape in the early 1800s. She was from George, where she initially made a living by playing the piano to accompany silent movies in the cinema theatres of the time. Together they bought a house in fashionable Parktown on the site of the present Wits Business School on St Andrews Road. Louise turned the house into a hotel and AJ, a mathematics teacher at Helpmekaar Hoërskool, went on to become the school’s headmaster until his retirement in 1962. The couple had to sell the house in 1938 to the Johannesburg City Council, purportedly to make way for an underground railway station. At their new address, in Parktown North, they built an art gallery to house their ever-expanding art collection. Their grandchildren still live in this home. The Therons befriended many artists in Johannesburg and elsewhere, most notably WH Coetzer, Anton van Wouw and Jean Welz, whose son, Stephan, later advised them on many of their later purchases. Louise was also fond of visiting Anton van Wouw in his sculpture studio in Doornfontein. The Collection of the Late AJ Theron (1901–1983) left Lot 209 Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, Farmstead in the Foothills (detail) The Collection of the Late AJ Theron. Andries Johannes (AJ) and Louise Theron. Lots 8, 19, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 44, 50, 59, 61, 62, 64, 65, 70, 78, 80, 82, 83, 88, 90, 117, 118, 209, 210, 212, 219 and 231