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Highlights | Fine Sculpture, Early Works of Art and Garden Ornament | 25 June 2019

June is such a fabulous month to enjoy the natural affinity between sculpture and landscape – and in our bi-annual Fine Sculpture, Early Works of Art & Garden Ornament sale on 25 June, we have a delightful array of items to help you do just this.

From ancient Egypt through to contemporary work – our auction this month represents a fantastic opportunity to witness a timeline of evolving sculptural styles through the ages… and of course the chance to be able to secure a piece of sculptural history for yourself.


Whether seeking the ancient or more modern, subtle or striking; whether for city or country, interior or exterior spaces, please take a moment to enjoy the highlights selected here from the stunning collection.

Lot 205: Philip Blacker, (b. 1949), Flanders Mud, a bronze model of a heavy horse | Est. £20,000-30,000 (+fees)

This powerful scene of the Crucifixion is likely to have been made at the beginning of the 14th century in Verona – although other Italian cities could be possible. The static composition, the long form of Christ’s perizonium and the large nimbus are details that help denote such a date and locale.

Comparison can be drawn with an example that was sold at Sotheby’s Milan in October 2009 (Lot 31). Strong similarities include Saint John’s gaze out to the worshipper which is style more associated with Veronese reliefs – it is seen in the Crucifixion relief on the facade of the Basilica of San Zeno in Verona.

Lot 14: An Italian relief sculpted marble portrayal of the Crucifixion with Saint John and the Virgin, probably Veronese, late 13th / early 14th century | Est. £1,200-1,800 (+ fees)

These bronze candelabra bases are reminiscent of the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (notably the Triton Fountain in the Piazza Barberini, the Fontana del Moro in the Piazza Navona, amongst others). However a more immediate source of comparison would appear to have been an Italian bronze of the late 17th or early 18th century belonging to the Royal Architect Sir William Chambers. From surviving correspondence it is clear that Chambers lent this bronze to Josiah Wedgwood in 1769, and later it seems to have been passed into the Torlonia Collection in Rome . Now untraced, there is a related example is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Lot 119: A pair of patinated bronze figural candelabra bases cast as tritons, inspired by Bernini and Tedesco and after designs by Josiah Wedgwood and Matthew Boulton, first quarter 19th century | Est. £1,000-1,500 (+fees)

The bronze original of this work, completed by Kiss in 1842, now graces the terrace at the entrance to the Altes Museum on Museum Island, in the Mitte borough of Berlin.

Reproductions in marble and also bronze have appeared at auction from time to time including Sotheby’s London, European Sculpture & Works of Art 900-1900, 9th July 2002, lot 158; Sotheby’s London, European Sculpture & Works of Art 900-1900, 16th April 2002, lot 218; Kunsthaus Lempertz, Auction 1030 – The Berlin Sale, 24th May 2014, lot 314; and Grisebach GmbH, Germany, Auction 257: Orangerie Selected Objects, 2nd June 2016, lot 317.

Lot 129: After August Karl Eduard Kiss, (German 1802 – 1865), a sculpted white marble group of an Amazon on horseback attacked by a panther, third quarter 19th century | Est. £3,000-5,000 (+fees)

Lot 15: A French carved ivory rectangular diptych panel, the Crucifixion, mid 14th century, possibly by the Master of the Berlin Triptych of the Virgin in Glory, traditionally portraying Christ on the Cross | Est. £3,000-5,000 (+fees)

Auction Date and Location:

Tuesday 25 June | 10.30am
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 2JE

Friday 21 June: 10am-4pm
Sunday 23 June: 10am-2pm
Monday 24 June: 9am-5.30pm
Day of sale: from 8.30am

Catalogue coming soon!