Macrus Curtius Webpv 04 06 24

Marcus Curtius marble relief, estimated at £1000-1500, sold for £70,000 at Roseberys.  

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A selection of marble reliefs drew strong interest at The George Farrow Collection sale at Roseberys on June 4, with an early 17th century north Italian marble relief of Marcus Curtius selling for over 46 times its top estimate.

The 15in (38cm) high mythological figure of Marcus Curtius wearing a helmet and with flowing drapery, leaping into flames with his horse to save the city of Rome in 362 BC carried an estimate of £1000-1500 but hammered down for £70,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium).

A mid-17th century octagonal Italian marble relief in the manner of Alessandro Algardi (1595-1654) depicting a putto blowing a conch shell seated on a hippocamp also impressed, achieving a hammer price of £14,000 despite its £2000-4000 estimate.

Preceding those lots were two mid-17th century Flemish marble reliefs estimated at £6000-8000 and attributed to Gérard van Opstal (1594-1668): one relief depicting Tritons, Nereids, putti and a hippocamp carved in high and low relief, and other relief of the rape of the Lapith women by the centaurs, achieving hammer prices of £26,000 and £24,000 respectively.

Another strong performer was an early 19th century Italian micromosaic and marble table which fetched £48,000 from a phone bidder following a £25,000-35,000 estimate.

Italian Marble Table Webpv 4 6 24

19th century Italian micromosaic and marble table, estimated £25,000-35,000, sold for £48,000 at Roseberys. 

Attributed to Giacomo Raffaelli, the central circular micromosaic depicts a chaffinch guarding a nest of eggs from a mouse. Around it are 160 radiating specimens arranged in concentric bands. Samples include Egyptian alabaster, porphyry, malachite and agate.

A Berlin Chinoiserie tapestry depicting ‘the Emperor’s Banquet’ was used as the backdrop to the rostrum and carried high hopes with its estimate of £100,000-200,000. It failed to sell, however.

Other highlights from the day included a pair of octagonal Chinese jardinières in coral ground and blue and white enamel paint bearing Shendetang Zhi marks from the Daoguang period. Estimated at £20,000-30,000, they sold for £46,000 to a phone bidder who saw off interest from another phone bidder and three online bidders.

Roseberys Farrow Sale Webpv 4 6 24

Peter Greenway, director at Roseberys, was busy on the rostrum for much of the day.

The sale of the ornate collection of property entrepreneur George Farrow (1916-2001), who became one of Britain’s most powerful private landlords, ran to 567 lots in total.