A more academic ivory carving than anything at Kidson-Trigg’s sale was this unsigned but fine quality 6 3/4in (17.5cm) portrait bust, right, offered at the Banbury rooms of Holloways (15% buyer’s premium) on November 30.
Research by the Oxfordshire auctioneers suggested it could be
attributed to Johann Christoph Ludwig Lücke (c.1703-Dresden-1780)
and was, perhaps, a likeness of George Frederick Handel. It lacked
any provenance beyond its recent unearthing in a local house, but
such discoveries only excite the market. Estimated at £6000-8000,
it sold to an overseas buyer at £29,000 - a price that pleased
auctioneer James Lees more than the £91,000 he had taken earlier in
the sale for a trademark Atkinson Grimshaw scene of Glasgow Docks
The other major money-spinners in this catalogue were two
near-lifesize 19th century Cararra marble figures by Italian
neoclassical sculptor Francesco Bienaimé. According to Greg
Sullivan of the Victoria and Albert Museum - who helped in the
cataloguing - Bienaimé supplied eight statues and two vases to
Chatsworth as evidenced in an account book of 1844.
Standing 7ft (2.14m) high on its verde di prato pedestal carved
with lion mask and floral swags, was a figure of a bacchante and
putto by the trunk of an oak surmounted by the branch of a vine, a
toppled wine ewer at their feet. Its companion, 6ft 9in (2.06m)
high on a similar pedestal carved with a fish catch, depicted the
bacchante carrying a putto on her shoulder, an aegis draped about
her and a wreath of fruiting vine in her hair. Each estimated at
£8000-12,000, they sold at £15,500 and £12,000 respectively.
Earlier, two 19th century North Country polychrome pearlware
equestrian figures were offered. Each standing 10 1/4in (26cm) high
on rectangular canted bases, these rare groups were nicely modelled
as soldiers holding holster pistols and wearing feathered cocked
hats. They sold at £3400 where only £150-200 had been
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