Among a consignment of sculpture from a notable Surrey garden offered at Bellmans (22% buyer’s premium) near Billingshurst in a four-day sale that began on June 15, the top prizes were two works by Enzo Maria Plazzotta (1921-81) as international and UK bidders drove up the bidding.
The works came from Stilemans, the home and horseracing stud owned by the late philanthropist Carole Lawson who, with husband Geoffrey, bought the Munstead estate in 1982 and set about adapting and restoring the early 20th century garden by Gertrude Jekyll.
The result for the London-based artist’s bronze Venus fountain came as quite a surprise. The 4ft 7in (1.4m) wide fountain, signed in a shield and numbered 7/9, was estimated at £1500-2500 but sold to a private UK buyer at £19,500 on thesaleroom.com.
Less spectacular, but still doubling the mid-estimate, Plazzotta’s Jamaica Girl, a 5ft 3in (1.6m) bronze nude sitting on a tree stump, from an edition of nine, sold for £8000.
At Mallams’ (22.5% buyer’s premium) June 24 Home & Garden sale in Abingdon, a bronze and steel work, Crossing a Millennium, signed by Lorenzo Quinn led the day. In his world, the name of Lorenzo Quinn (b.1966) is as well known as was that of his father, Anthony, in films.
The auction house has sold his work in the past. This piece was a large one at 12ft 2in (3.71m) overall. It featured his signature theme of a figure (or a hand) in a circle and was numbered 1/4. Mallams could claim a record for the artist when it sold at the lower end of a £40,000-60,000 estimate to a UK bidder.
French revivalism was at the forefront of the interiors offerings at this sale.
A 4ft 7in (1.39m) tall ormolu-mounted mahogany and acajou moucheté (plum pudding mahogany) secretaire à abattant was attributed to Paul Sormani (1817-77), the renowned Venetian cabinetmaker who became established in Paris in 1847.
Dating from the third quarter of the century, the cabinet in the ancien regime style was notable for its fall front that was painted with a still life of flowers in a vase on a marble-topped rococo commode. Against hopes of £4000-6000, it sold over the phone to a UK dealer at £8000.