Silver-mounted pink granite toenail fragment from a colossal statue of Ramses II, $31,000 (£24,900) at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The toe from a monumental pink granite statue of Ramses the Great (1279-1213BC) hammered for $31,000 (£24,900) against an estimate of $2000-4000.

According to a framed letter dated 1919 included with the lot, the 5in (12cm) carving was collected by photographer, author and adventurer Sigmund Krausz (1857-1928) in 1899 at the entrance to the Luxor temple.

He said he saved it from the crumbling statue as it risked being lost and took it home to Chicago where it was mounted in silver. The mount is inscribed Small Toenail from Colossal Statue of Ramses II. Temple of Luxor, Feb. 13th, 1899.

Krausz wrote a record of his time in Asia Minor, Egypt and India titled Towards the Rising Sun, a Story of Travel & Adventure, published by Laird & Lee in Chicago, 1903.

Late Renoir work


Pierre-Auguste Renoir oil of a young girl at Cagnes-sur-Mer, $65,000 (£52,100) at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.

Leading the line in this Maine auction was a late Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) painting of a young girl with flowers in a waterside landscape offered in what is probably the original Impressionist matched corner frame.

In a private collection in Maine since it was bought from the New York gallery in 1952, it was guided at $40,000-60,000 and took $65,000 (£52,100).

The scene, measuring 19 x 16in (48 x 40cm), probably depicts Cagnes-sur-Mer where Renoir lived from 1908-19.

In fragile health, he suffered from such a debilitating arthritism it required him changing his painting technique, tying brushes to his wrist when needed.