The figures on marble bases were inscribed A Drury 08 to the 9½in (24cm) tall figure emblematic of Drama and A Drury to the 10in (25cm) figure of Literature.
As yet, neither appears to be recorded in Drury’s raisonné but they came with an impressive provenance to the leading figure of the New Sculpture Movement whose commissions included large public works in London as well as such intimate items such as these bronzes.
Estimated at £3000-5000, the pair sold at £9500.
Be a devil
More familiar are the late 19th or early 20th century pine and fruitwood devil figures in the manner of the Venetian sculptor Francesco Toso (d.1893). The best examples of these have made some commanding sums in the past.
At Dreweatts, the carved faun standing 5ft 6½in tall (1.69m) including a plinth sold at £12,500 (estimate £7000-9000). It was followed by a marginally taller figure in slightly better condition that went to the same buyer at £7500, the previous underbidder having been presumably bent on owning a near pair.
Relatively little is known about the 19th century woodcarver Toso, who was born in Murano, Venice, to a family of glass makers. However, he briefly found acclaim for his fantastical carved sculptures and mirrors exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 (the year he died).
In October last year a pair of Faustian demons measuring 6ft 2in (1.9m) high took £70,000 at Woolley & Wallis. A closely related pair, formerly in the collection of Italian fashion queen Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973), was sold by Christie’s in Paris in December 2018 for €145,000.