An important collection of 17th and 18th Century Italian marble sculpture will be offered in the hugely popular sale of Garden Statuary and Ornament - both antique and modern at Summers Place Auctions
(in association with Sothebys
) on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 which will take place in Billingshurst, West Sussex. This will be complemented by a sealed bid auction, which ends on Friday, May 27, 2011.
Many of the pieces in the collection are in the manner of Antonio Bonazza (1698-1762). Included is a pair of marble musicians on pedestals (est: £20,000-30,000) as well as a monumental 17th Century sculpture of Hercules strangling the Nemean Lion, which is estimated to fetch £50,000-80,000.
James Rylands, one of the experts in charge, said This sale includes pieces with estimates ranging from £100 up to £150,000, so there really is something for everyone, whether their garden is traditional or cutting-edge contemporary. In these times of continued economic uncertainty, we are seeing an increasing number of buyers who want to put their money into more solid assets.
Of historical interest are two pieces removed from a garden in Frognal, North West London, which was formerly the property of J.Y.McPeake, who was one of the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearsts agents in England. McPeake, an Irishman was originally recruited by Hearst to publish the English version of Good Housekeeping. First published in 1922 it was an immediate success and ultimately enabled Hearst to purchase St Donats castle in Wales in 1925. Hearst used McPeake to purchase a number of pieces for him including a Medieval stone font and a 17th Venetian Istrian stone well head, which were never shipped to the USA, perhaps because of the Wall Street crash of 1929. Both are estimated to fetch up to £5,000.
The sale is also particularly strong in period cast iron seats from the renowned Coalbrookdale foundry in Ironbridge, Shropshire - named after the first iron bridge over the River Severn and now a UNESCO world heritage site. The company employed leading designers of the day such as John Bell and Christopher Dresser who often used timeless naturalistic motifs which are as fresh today as when first produced. A Coalbrookdale Lily of the Valley pattern seat circa 1870 is estimated at £3,000-5,000 and is one of over 100 lots of furniture included in the sale.
Modern sculpture is well represented and includes work by a number of emerging sculptors representing a good investment opportunity, which will also give pleasure for years to come! There are 10 lots by the wildlife sculptor David Cooke in the sale, including a stoneware ringtail lemur, which measures nearly six feet tall and is expected to fetch £2,000-3,000.
A good selection of 20th century British sculpture includes four pieces by Sean Crampton. Born in Manchester in 1918, the eldest son of an architect, Crampton fought with conspicuous gallantry in the Second World War winning the Military Cross and the George Medal after having a foot blown off by a mine. One of his bronzes in the sale, The Batchelors of Avebury is estimated at £4,000-6,000 and was inspired by his wartime experiences. Besides exhibiting at the Royal Academy and other institutional galleries, Crampton held 17 one-man shows in the West End of London over a period of nearly four decades.
Of local interest is The Little House - a clapboard miniature house with clay hung tiles and fitted interior, together with a privy and garden, which is complete with raised stone beds with shrubs, box hedging and wrought iron railings. Using old materials, it was made Peter Hill Jones who owns an architectural and scrap yard in Yapton, West Sussex. The Little House is the original building that was later replicated as The Little Ranelagh House and was exhibited at the Royal Horticultural Societys Chelsea Flower Show in 2009 and sold by Summers Place Auctions later that year. Built on a scale of 7:1, it carries an estimate of £10,000-15,000.
Live and Sealed Bid Auctions
Friday, 20th May Monday 23rd May: 10am 4pm
And on the day of the sale
Live Auction comprising 120 lots 24th May at 1.30pm
Sealed bid Auction comprising 420 lots; bids opened on Friday 27th May