After Giambologna sculptures

Allegories of astronomy and architecture after Giambologna, $400,000 (£319,000) at Lark Mason Associates in New York.

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Lark Mason Associates sold the Shahmoon family collection over the iGavel auction platform. By the time the lot closed on April 2, a total of 79 bids had been received and the hammer price had reached $400,000 (£319,000) or $500,000 including the 25% buyer’s premium.

Estimated at $800-$1200, the casts of Astronomy and Architecture after Florentine sculptor Giambologna (1529-1608) came for sale from the heirs of Solomon E Shahmoon (1893-1987), a property developer and financier who made his fortune in early 20th century Shanghai. He fled to New York with his family from Germany in 1939, living in a large Spanish-style home in New Rochelle, Westchester County.

Both bronzes – undated in the catalogue - are much copied, both by Giambologna’s students Antonio Susini and Pietro Tacca and in later centuries. The best period examples from the late 16th or early 17th century can bring seven-figure sums. This pair were thought by specialists to be Susini casts.

The original marble for the 14in (35cm) high Allegory of Architecture, a seated nude holding a plumb line and set squares in her right hand, is dated 1565 and in the Bargello, Florence. The most common versions in bronze were made without the ‘tools’ but this Shahmoon cast retains them.

In old inventories Giambologna's Allegory of Astronomy with her attributes of a prism, armillary sphere, compass and ruler is named Venus Urania. The prime cast in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna is dated to a relatively late phase of Giambologna’s career, about 1573.