The 16in (40cm) high patinated bronze statuette, set on a marble socle, depicted the naked goddess holding aloft a bow in her role as the Diana the huntress.
Estimated at just €8000-10,000, it was catalogued as the circle of Barthelemy Prieur (1536-1611) after Giambologna or Susini, while noting its resemblance to a similar statuette attributed to the 16th century sculptor Prieur published in Alan Gibbon’s Bronzes de Fontainebleau. At least two bidders evidently felt it was close to either the French or Italian Mannerist sculptors, given the final price.
Elsewhere at Drouot on the same day, an auction devoted to antiquities and tribal art held by Binoche et Giquello (27% buyer’s premium inc VAT) included a selection of ancient Egyptian and Classical works from the collection of Carlo Ligabue (1931-2015), a collector and explorer.
Joint-highest price in this 175-lot sale, at €46,000 (£41,820), was for one of his Egyptian pieces. The Middle Kingdom model of an agricultural store in stuccoed and polychromed wood was pre-empted by the Louvre for its Department of Antiquities.
This 17 x 14in (43 x 36cm) model features figures of either the owner or an overseer, two men carrying sacks of grain and a seated scribe registering the provisions. It had some obvious restoration and a missing figure. Sets such as this would have been placed in the tomb next to the sarcophagus to provide sustenance to the dead in the afterlife. It came with an earlier provenance to Sayed bey Khashaba in the first decade of the 20th century and to Elie Borowski of Basel in 1972.
The other €46,000 best-seller of the auction was an 8in (21cm) high classical Roman marble head of a young man.
Walk like an Egyptian
Antiquities were also the subject of a dedicated 330-lot sale held at Drouot by Pierre Bergé et Associés (24/20.5/17% buyer’s premium) on October 10.
Another Egyptian work in painted stuccoed wood took the top honours.
This was a 2ft 6in (76.5cm) high statue of a standing male figure dating from the 12th-13th dynasty set on a later Ptolemaic period rectangular base. It made €58,000 (£52,730).
The statue shows the man walking and is of a type that appeared in the Old Kingdom and prevailed into the Middle Kingdom. Part of the funerary accoutrements, it is intended to show the deceased walking towards their destiny. This particular example had entered the French collection of a lady during the 1950s and had passed down by descent.