The unusual altarpiece sold for a hammer price of €800,000/£727,300 (plus 30% buyer’s premium).
Residing in the same family for more than two centuries, the carved, gilded and polychromed limestone altarpiece was once in the church of Saint-Denis-en- Broqueroie, in the Hainaut province in the Walloon region on the border with France.
The abbey was demolished when the land was sold to Mons mayor Jean Constant Fidèle Duval in 1798. However, its altarpiece remained with Duval’s descendants until it was consigned to Antenor Auctions on May 30 with an estimate of €150,000 -200,000.
Believed to date to 1450-60, the 4ft 11in (1.5m) wide sculpture features The Lamentation at the Foot of the Cross with the saints John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, Stephen, Lawrence and Sebastian depicted under Gothic canopies. Made in a region that operated as an important medieval trade route, it displays a number of influences including the Belgium Hennuyer style, the Dutch Brabant style, as well as characteristics of early Netherlandish work.
It has been bought by a philanthropic foundation and will stay in Belgium.
Antenor Auctions launched in Brussels in November 2020 and is run by Olivia Roussev with a team of auctioneers and specialists.