The December edition of Sotheby’s flagship 19th & 20th Century Sculpture sale was led by Metello Motelli’s magnificent marble Iris, which more than trebled its pre-sale estimate with a result of £420,750. Robust prices were seen for bronzes as well as marbles, with further highlights including an outstanding result of £224,750 for a cast of Gérôme’s iconic Corinth (estimate £100,000-150,000) and £75,000 for Carpeaux’s Chinois against an estimate of £40,000-60,000.
A rare cast of Le Voyageur by Meissonier multiplied its estimate, achieving £125,000, while the strong result for the Fauness and Child by the American sculptor William Wetmore Story, which sold for £52,500, confirms the continuing demand for neoclassical and Romantic marbles.
A superb life-size marble nude Iris by the rare Italian sculptor Metello Motelli leads this diverse dedicated sculpture auction. The sale is centered around an important Parisian collection of Romantic and modern European marbles. It also includes elegant examples of the British New Sculpture movement, as well as Gérôme’s dazzling gilt-bronze Corinth.