Or, in this case, as the Telegraph‘s Colin Gleadell explains to us, one Duke’s bronze is another dealer’s gold:
A sculpture that had been gathering dust outside the pantry at the Duke of Bedford’s home in Woburn Abbey, and which he had thought was just “a dull, small bronze”, sold for £1,385,250 at Sotheby’s last week. Seated Nymph, circa 1503 (pictured below), turned out to be a rare work by the High Renaissance sculptor Pier Jacopo Alari-Bonacolsi, known as Antico, and valued by Sotheby’s at £1.5 million to £2 million, based on pre-recessionary prices for the artist. When no one looked likely to bid at that level, it was snapped up by dealer Alan Hobart of the Pyms Gallery. Hobart’s best-known client is furniture magnate and Tory party donor Lord Kirkham. “We were very fortunate to buy it at that price,” Hobart says. “It’s extremely rare and beautifully modelled, and will be exhibited in a much better context in the future.” The Duke of Bedford, meanwhile, is planning to spend the money on contemporary sculpture for his gardens at Woburn.
Market News (Telegraph)