The first dedicated sculpture sale at Sotheby’s Paris achieved some impressive results. The sale totaled €1,2 million. Collectors were quick to acknowledge the importance of the discovery made by specialist Ulrike Goetz, director of the Sotheby’s France sculpture department, and bid all the way up to €111,000 for a voluptuous Danaé recevant Jupiter en pluie d’or by Agostino Bocciardi, c. 1762. The results obtained for 19th-century works proved the strength of this market. An elegant life-size bronze of a Nymphe, c. 1860, by Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier, achieved the highest price of the sale at €147,000.
Bronze, marble and terracotta sculptures will be in perfect communion with Old Masters and 19th-century paintings throughout the previews of our European Old Masters sales in June, giving an interesting overview of shared influences in art history.
Among the treasures of the Middle Ages we will be offering is a rare Lorraine limestone Virgin and Child, circa 1320-1330 (€60,000–80,000) as well as a refined Gothic ivory diptych, from the Parisian workshops circa 1340 (€20,000–30,000).
A magnificent early 17th-century, South German or Austrian bronze of the Rape of a Sabine (€250,000–400,000), is one of the highlights of the sale, demonstrating the astonishing ability of North European bronze sculptors spreading the influence of the Florentine Renaissance master Giambologna. A God of the Nile River (€60,000–80,000), superb French cast circa 1700, will also arise the greatest interest amongst Baroque bronzes collectors.
Connoisseurs of 19th-century bronzes will be delighted to discover a life-size Nymph by Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier (€70,000–100,000), thought to be lost, which remained in the same family for over a century.
Marble will occupy a place of honour with a superb Venus and Cupid (€60,000–80,000), signed and dated 1759 by the Italian François Ladatte, originally from Turin, sculptor to Louis XV, as well as a stunningly fresh and seductive Danae by Augustino Bocciardi (€60,000–80,000), exhibited in the 1762 Salon and once owned by Denis Papillon de la Ferté, administrator of the Menus-Plaisirs of Louis XV.