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    Monday, July 3rd, 2017

    Jean Baptiste Clésinger (1814-1883), Cléopâtre mourante (The Dying Cleopatra), 1861, white marble (£100,000-150,000)

    A wide range of sculptures from the Middle Ages to the early 19th century will come up at Sotheby’s in London in July. The Old Masters evening sale on July 5 will include  a sculpture – a portrait terracotta bust by Pietro Tacca, Giambologna’s pupil, of Grand Duke Ferdinando II de’ Medici (1610-1670) estimated at £1-2 million.

    Auguste Clésinger’s Cléopâtre which comes up at a sale on July 12 is an important rediscovery.  Clésigner executed the marble in Rome and exhibited the model at the Paris Salon of 1861. In order to give this unambiguous nude enough of a veneer of respectability for it to be passed by the Salon jury, the sculptor’s friends urged him to include a snake, twisted around the ankle, in a possible reference to a classical subject, such as Cleopatra. The sculpture was so life-like that the sculptor was accused, with some justification, of using plaster casts of the live model in its creation. With this work Clésinger became famous as a sculptor of the female form. At auction for the first time since 1892 it is estimated at £100,000-200,000.


    Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
    Pasquale Romanelli Italian, 1812 - 1887 ANDROMEDA (£80,000-120,000).

    Pasquale Romanelli
    Italian, 1812 – 1887
    ANDROMEDA (£80,000-120,000).UPDATE: THIS SOLD TO AN ASIAN COLLECTOR FOR £125,000. This is a record for the artist at auction.

    The Carbisdale Castle, Scotland collection of Victorian sculptures – not seen on the market for over a century – will come up at Sotheby’s in London on May 20.   “Encompassing the elegant Neoclassicism of the early part of the century to the fantastical Romanticism of the Belle Époque years, the works on offer shine a light not only on collecting tastes at the height of the British Empire, but also on how sculptors of the period created works of astonishing beauty and grace through their masterful handling of marble” Christopher Mason, Sotheby’s European Sculpture specialist, commented.

    Carbisdale Castle is a magnificent Scots Baronial residence in the heart of the Highlands.  The works are offered by the current custodians of the castle, the Scottish Youth Hostels Association . Together with an array of 36 Italian and Scottish nineteenth-century paintings, most of which are quality copies of Old Masters, the 17 sculptures will be presented for sale as part of Sotheby’s 19th and 20th century sculpture auction.  The group also includes a nineteenth-century textile, and is estimated to bring a combined total in the region of £500,000.

    Keith Legge Scottish Youth Hostels Associations ceo said: “It has been a privilege for SYHA to have been the custodian of Carbisdale Castle and its contents for the past 70 years enabling our members and guests to experience living in a castle”.  The proceeds will be used to sustain SYHA’s diverse youth hostel network of affordable fit-for-purpose accommodation.

    UPDATE: The sale realised £2.3 million, Sotheby’s highest ever total for an auction of 19th and 20th century sculpture. The Carbisdale Castle collection brought in £1 million.