Spirit of Art Nouveau and Art Deco in statue sale

A private collection of 38 important 20th-century sculptures will go under the hammer at Gloucestershire’s Kinghams Auctioneers & Valuers on July 8 in an auction entitled ‘spirit and splendour’.

The one-off auction is devoted to the master creators of chryselephantine (bronze and antique ivory) figures that capture the spirit and decadence of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods spanning the 1900s to the 1930s.

Revered names such as Ferdinand Preiss, Demetre Chiparus, Paul Philippe, Marcel Bouraine, Otto Poertzel and Claire Colinet are all represented.

The auction showcases some great rarities such as the large size Ankara Dancer by Colinet standing over 63cm high. This figure is sometimes seen in bronze but it is very hard to source with carved legs, arms and face. The Kinghams example is in beautifully preserved condition.

Ankara dancer by Colinet

There are also some top examples of models by the Austrian designer Ferdinand Preiss (1882-1943) including the Bat Dancer, Spring Awakening and the iconic Flame Leaper that capture the freedom of expression for women in the Art Deco period.

Flame Leaper by Ferdinand Preiss

There are works by master Romanian sculptor Demetre Chiparus (1886-1947) including Tender Promises, Orilla and Bayadere, and some of the best models ever created by French artist Paul Philippe (1870-1930), including the ravishing Fan Dancer, the stunning Girl with Parrot and his masterwork, the triple female group Round Dance.

All of these sculptures radiate an exuberance and splendour that only these leading master sculptors of the period can capture. With estimates starting at £2,000, there are also top-of-the-range showstoppers, such as Colinet’s Ankara, commanding a £90,000-£120,000 estimate.

The entire auction is expected to realise in excess of £800,000 and interest from worldwide collectors and investors looks set to be strong.

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