Kings of the Auction

4th April 2019

A pair of lions that once metaphorically paced the office of a French theatrical great have sold at auction for £25,000.

The carved wood sculptures with a gilt bronzed finish (lot 197) were formerly the property of Claude Sainval (1911-1994), a French actor and director and former Secretary General of the Union of Theatre Directors, and featured in the Furniture, Works of Art and Clocks sale. The metre long figures attracted broad interest and rapidly exceeded their top estimate. The ultimately successful bidder sitting in the room fought against a keen underbidder who was using the saleroom’s brand new online bidding software, WoolleysLive.

Elsewhere in the sale, a private collection of Victorian taxidermy was a near sell out with a large group of 13 birds of prey by Scottish taxidermist William Macleay hitting the top price at £2,125 (lot 416). The 61 lot collection totalled just under £24,500, with 16 different buyers from the UK, America and the Netherlands.

A Charles II lignum vitae wassail bowl dated 1681 (lot 43) proved that the demand for early treen remains strong with a final price of £8,125, while a documentary Welsh horn snuff box dated 1791 (lot 58) exceeded expectation to sell for £1,875.

The sale finished with a final total of £429,680 and a selling rate of 80%. View the full results here.

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