Originally part of Sir Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham’s famous 18th century gardens at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, Woden and Seatern are the last two great Saxon deities in private hands. Commissioned in the late 1720s the gods represent the days of the week, Wednesday and Saturday, and epitomise the height of 18th century antiquarianism. The gardens at Stowe were one of Britain’s finest contributions to the European Enlightenment and the importance of the Saxon deities was first fully described by John Kenworthy-Browne in 1985. Rysbrack used the finest Portland stone that has retained much intricate detail and the heroic characterisations have developed a timeless mystery, enhanced by the picturesque weathering of nearly 300 years.
From 13th-century enamels to 16th-century cameos; 14th -century stone gargoyles to 17th-century bronze angels; 15th-century terracotta Madonnas to 18th-century terracotta lions, the Old Master Sculpture and Works of Art sale this July is unique in its focus on the finest European works of art of the last 1000 years.