Bloomberg’s Scott Reyburn talks about Christie’s $24-32m garden statue that will be sold in July:
“It’s a magnificent work by one of the greatest sculptors of the period,” Stuart Lochhead, director of the London-based dealers Daniel Katz Ltd., said in an interview. “It could easily go for 15 or 20 million pounds to Qatar or Abu Dhabi.”
The bronze, found during a routine valuation at an unidentified castle in Northern Europe, has a formal estimate of 5 million pounds to 8 million pounds, Christie’s said.
“Our valuer was told not to forget the things in the garden,” Donald Johnston, Christie’s international head of sculpture, said in an interview. “‘I’ll get to the de Vries later,’ he joked. When he climbed a ladder and looked at the bronze, that was exactly the signature he found.”
The 3-foot, 7-inch (1.1 meter) statue has been cleaned of green oxidation caused by centuries of rain and is now waxed.
The globe held by the garlanded figure is thought to have been a later 17th-century addition.
De Vries was a late-renaissance sculptor who worked in Prague for the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II and his military commander Albrecht von Wallenstein. The latter commissioned a number of garden statues from the artist, of which this latest discovery, dated 1626, may have been one, Christie’s said.