This December’s sale saw consistently high prices for important medieval sculpture, led by a Nottingham alabaster Virgin and Child and a limewood relief with the Annunciation, both of which soared past their estimates to achieve £137,000.
There were also strong results for marbles across artistic periods, with a torso of Hercules from the circle of Giambologna and a neoclassical bust of Jupiter both surpassing the £100,000 mark.
Sotheby’s status as a distinguished platform for the sale of early jewellery was confirmed by the exceptional result for an intaglio ring by William Birch, which sold for £35,000 against an estimate of £6,000-8,000 and highlighted the strong overall performance of rings and other jewels.
This December’s sale of Old Master Sculpture and Works of Art will showcase some of the finest three-dimensional objects on the market. The auction features masterpieces of European sculpture from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical periods.
Highlights from the early section of the sale include a rare 15th-century Nottingham Alabaster Virgin and Child. These are joined by an important group of Renaissance bronzes from a private collection, and an array of fine early jewels. The highlights of the Baroque and Neoclassical sections include a bust of the Earl of Orkney by Michael Rysbrack, and a superb gilt-bronze bust of George Washington with a pietre dure socle made by the Spanish Royal Workshops.