Rare Venus finds love as bidder pays thousands

The Venus statue in saleA rare figure of Venus from the early 18th century from the circle of Jan Pieter van Baurscheit has sold for £29,000 at Summers Place Auctions’ recent sale in West Sussex.

The two-metre-high figure had an estimate of £8,000 to £12,000, and is a classic example of the van Baurscheidt circle from the Low Countriesm where they are well-known to have supplied garden sculptures to many patrons in both The Netherlands and England.

The auction also included a collection of highlights from the career of sculptor John Robinson (1935-2007), who carved out an international career spanning over 40 years.

Three bronze resin figures of Peter, squirting Mark and Tim with a hose pipe, depict the artist’s sons and was made in 1969 and sold above high estimate for £3,300 (£4,125). Other sculptures that did particularly well were from his symbolic era, including Elation and Evolution.

A bronze portrait bust of Her Majesty the Queen sold for £800 (£1,000) for four times its low estimate to a
UK private bidder online.

Son of the sculptor, Mark Robinson said after the auction: “My brothers and I grew up with all these sculptures and it was sad in a way to see them go, but when I went to view them at Summers Place Auctions I was amazed how they really came to life again in the beautiful gardens.

White Rhinoceros Sculpture by John Cox“I attended the auction and it didn’t surprise me that the sculptures did so well – we were really pleased with the result and that they have gone to good, new homes. In the run up to the auction, we reflected on the fact how brave our father was to leave Australia to follow his dream and become a sculptor and make such a success of it with his sculptures now represented all over the world. We felt the auction was an appropriate way to honour his work.”

Elsewhere in the sale, other highlights included:

  • A rare Coalbrookdale cast iron occasional table from circa 1850 painted with a hunting scene and inscribed The death of a stag at Glen Tilt, sold for £3,200. The hunting scene is after the famous painting by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer RA, which he had painted especially for the Duke of Atholl and which portrays the Duke and his family and head keeper with the dead stag.
  • Coalbrookdale furniture also did well in the sealed bid sale the following day and all sold above high estimate.
  • A White Rhinoceros Sculpture by John Cox (1941-2015) sold for £20,000 within estimate and his Flight of Ducks water fountain sold for £4,756, more than twice its low estimate.
  • Mrs Bennet’ Daughter by Philip Jackson also sold above high estimate for £5,005.
  • Among the Natural History lots in the sealed bid part of the auction, Lapis Lazuli did exceptionally well with an 82 cm high and 48.4kg free form selling for £10,000, twice its top estimate, as did a group of humming birds under a glass dome from the late 19th century which sold for £3,000.

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