Catalogued as “The Abduction of a Sabine” and “possibly 18th century or earlier in the manner of Giambologna”, the nearly 20in (50cm) high bronze on a later base was estimated at just £300-500.
Bidders believed it was likely to be early 17th century – perhaps by Gianfrancesco Susini or Ferdinando Tacca – with interest coming from the room, five phone lines and online bidders.
It was underbid on thesaleroom.com before two phone bidders battled it out past the £100,000 mark (plus 17.5% buyer’s premium).
Luke Bodalbhai, head of fine art at Boningtons, said: “People think the market slows in the summer but if auctions are online you can get results like this.” The vendor, a woman local to the Essex auction house, inherited it from her great-grandmother.
The Rape of the Sabine Women or the Abduction of a Sabine Woman was a theme favoured by European Renaissance artists.
But this two-figure model is in contrast to the more common three and quite different from Giambologna’s famous 1583 original version in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence.