Sotheby’s London’ recent sale, ‘Of Royal and Noble Descent’ generated strong enthusiasm, with fascinating royal and aristocratic heirlooms surpassing expectations and totaling almost £2.5million.
The pre-sale exhibition, which included paper sculptures by British artist Zoe Bradley, attracted almost 2,000 visitors, with the actual sale of prestigious European dynasties and institutions attracting international participants from 31 countries, including Russia, Asia and the Middle East.
The top lot in the sale was a large Maiolica footed dish, attributed to the ‘Painter of the Apollo Basin’, which sold for £257,000 (€336,079), thereby establishing the highest price in the sale. The artwork which came from a European private collection had been estimated at £30,000-40,000.
The dish measures 16½in (42cm) and came to the sale a European source and was bought by the British trade.
The scene of the dish is entitled The Rape of Hippodamia, after a print by Enea Vico (1523-67) depicts Theseus standing to take out his sword against the Lapith centaurs who are attempting to attack Hippodamia.