A bronze sculpture of a leopard lying on a rock by celebrated contemporary South African sculptor Dylan Lewis is the potential star of an auction in Shropshire next week.
The sculpture, cast in 2002 and consigned by a Staffordshire border collector, is expected to sell for up to £15,000 at Halls’ fine furniture, European ceramics and works of art auction in Shrewsbury on Wednesday, October 28.
Lewis, born in 1964, has emerged as one of the world’s leading contemporary sculptors, his work featuring in private collections in the UK, Europe, United States and Australia.
He takes his inspiration from the wilderness, celebrating the power and movement of Africa’s life forms, whilst also capturing primeval, rugged landscapes. Between 1993 and 2000, he explored the cat form, focusing mainly on Africa’s large predators, one of which is the leopard.
Another bronze that’s likely to attract great interest is a portrait bust of Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887-1976) by Samuel Tomkiss (1909-’92), which is valued at up to £1,500 and was produced the year before the famous artist died.
Born in Shropshire, Tomkiss later moved to West Yorkshire where he worked as a journalist in the early 1960s. He began to sculpt a series of portrait busts, some of which were cast as limited editions.
A French bronze figure of a maiden, entitled ‘Marguerite’, cast from the model of Eugene by Antoine Aizelin (1821-1902) is expected to fetch in excess of £3,000.
Halls’ senior auctioneer and valuer Andrew Beeston has selected an early 20th century Italian alabaster figural table or floor lamp, in the form of a courting couple stood next to a fluted column, as one to watch.
He says he will not be surprised if the lamp exceeds its pre-sale estimate of £700, as the decorative piece is likely to appeal to the current market.
With some people already starting their Christmas shopping, three rocking horses might be just the special gift they are looking for. Pick of the trio is a finely carved and restored early 20th century dapple grey example, which is expected to race home for up to £3,000, while the other two carry estimates ranging from £300 to £1,800.
Again with the festive season in mind, a 20th century mahogany Chippendale style dining suite, comprising an extending dining table, eight chairs and serpentine sideboard and serving table, is ideal for furnishing a room ready for a Christmas family gathering. And it won’t break the bank at around £2,000.
Also in the furniture section, a 19th century Vernis Martin style serpentine vitrine a Louis XV style kingwood veneered vitrine on stand, both from a Shropshire collector, are tipped to find new homes with estimates between £2,000 and £3,000.
Of particular interest to early oak collectors is a mid-19th century double pedestal desk, which has carved figural mounts probably dating to the 16th century. The desk, which has been owned by several generations of the same Shropshire family, is valued at up to £1,200.
“It appears that somebody has reused the earlier mounts, possibly from a large Tudor cabinet, and incorporated them into this Victorian partner’s desk,” said Mr Beeston. “It ought to be of interest to early oak collectors, particularly if they need a substantial desk at the same time.”
The auction literally has something to suite most tastes, even a 20th century Isfahan rug from Bahrain at up to £1,500.
The Battlefield saleroom will be open for viewing on Monday from 9.30am to 7pm, Tuesday from 9.30am to 4,30pm and on the morning the auction, which starts at 10am. The catalogue may also be viewed online at here.