The 11in x 12in (28 x 31cm) marble, Andromeda, which is signed and dated 1887, tripled its estimate to take €3.1m (£2.72m) plus premium. It was secured by a European collector bidding on the phone against plenty of competition at the auction on May 30.
Five examples of the Andromeda sculpture are known to exist, three of which are in museums.
Recently rediscovered in Spain by two of Artcurial’s specialists, Stéphane Aubert and Bruno Jaubert, the marble is notable for its provenance having spent almost 130 years in the family of the Chilean diplomat Carlos Lynch de Morla.
An acquaintance of Rodin, he commissioned a portrait of his wife Luisa from the sculptor in 1888 while posted in Paris.
The resultant bust, which was shown at the Salon National des Beaux-Arts that year, was so admired that the French state put in a request to acquire it. De Morla agreed and in recompense Rodin presented him with this marble interpretation of the Andromeda myth, showing the naked young women crouched on a rock.
Prior to the sale, the auctioneers released the promotional video below.