Tuesday - 09 February 2016

Meissen squirrels fetch £45,000 at Sussex auction

28 March 2014Written by Roland Arkell

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%.

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