A late 17th century coral carving offered at Hermann Historica.

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Antonio Ciminello was a local craftsman and his bulino or burin enabled his colleagues to create intricate sculptures of ‘red gold’, as the coral from the seas off the west coast of Sicily was known. They developed an international market and prospered well into the 19th century.

An example of late 17th century coral carving is being sold by Hermann Historica in Grassbrunn near Munich in its auction of works of art on May 6.The finely detailed 6½in (17cm) high figure of the Mother of God (Maria Immaculata) stands on a layered bank of mother-of pearl clouds with three winged coral Cherubim at her feet. The rear of the figure is mounted with small squares of mother-of-pearl.

It has a starting price of €9500.