LONDON, UK.- A passion for collecting was certainly evident at Sotheby's Thursday, February 24, 2005 when the Adler Collection, comprising inspirational works from across Europe, sold for a total of £1,658,724 against an estimate of £800,000. The private collection of works by collectors John and Judith Adler, included an exceptional selection of European Sculpture, Works of Art and Early Furniture.
Works ranged from exquisite alabaster reliefs, to intricately tooled chests, narwhal tusks and rare carved oak saints, sourced from France, Germany, Italy and the UK. There was competitive bidding in the saleroom and on the telephones, as many of the works were recognised as the best examples of their kind.
Liz Mitchell, Sotheby's specialist for the sale, said: "We were delighted with the results of the sale which demonstrated that quality and rarity were the defining criteria for today's buyers. The extraordinary results we witnessed were a fitting testimony to the passion and discernment that informed the Adlers' collecting activity over so many years."
The top lot was an important 16th century three figure oak group of the Magi, attributed to the sculptor Henrik Douvermann, which realised £433,600 - more than four times its pre-sale low estimate of £100,000. The three kings would have originally formed part of a larger adoration group and were highly sought after due to their intricate carving and wonderful detail.
Particularly worthy of note was lot 85, a rare 16th century fruitwood, ivory and mother of pearl ruler, which realised £142,400, 20 times its pre-sale low estimate of £7,000. Competition was strong for a 17th century walrus ivory gambling ball which realised £19,200 against its pre-sale low estimate of £600.
A highlight of the sale was a wonderfully preserved carved oak screen which was discovered by Mr. Adler purely by chance in a cow shed in Wales. The beautifully carved oak panel which bears the Beaufort badge is believed to have derived from Raglan Castle, Chepstow, the seat of the Beaufort family. It realised £36,000 - more than double its pre-sale estimate of £15,000.