Estimated at £8000-12,000, this rare pair of Meissen figures of red squirrels, c.1750, modelled by J.J.Kändler, took £45,000 at Bellmans auctions of Wisborough Green, near Billingshurst.
Kändler first modelled a pair of squirrels in 1732, his work
records for August that year listing Zwei
Eichhörnigen (two squirrels) and, in September 1733,
Ein kleines Eichhörnigen (a small squirrel).
These models were consigned for sale following a routine
valuation day. They measure 8in (20cm) and 9in (22cm) high upon
typical oval mound bases applied with flowers. Both have some
restoration and small chips.
An example of the squirrel holding a nut from the collection of
Sir Gawaine and Lady Baillie was sold at Sotheby's in May 2013 for
£8000. But Bellmans auctioneer and ceramics specialist Simon Garner
opened bidding by warning spectators that they would "likely never
see such objects together as a pair again".
The lot, offered on March 26, attracted international interest
before it was sold to a prominent London dealer. The buyer's
premium was 20%.
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.