In this highly eclectic sale, Sebastian Vrancx’s virtuosity was surpassed by a surprise bid for a sculpture.
19th century Period, Jeune faune en marbre veiné, 104 x 28 x 16 cm/40.94 x 11.02 x 6.29 in.
The three-dimensional world produced the day's overall winner when a striking veined marble group sculpted in the round, representing a Young Faun (104 x 28 x 16 cm/40.9 x 11 x 6.3 in, see photo) in a style evoking classical antiquity, believed to date to the 19th century, fetched €116,000 after a high estimate of €5,000. Reliefs were also in the running, with a curved, finely carved alabaster plaque of a Nativity scene with shepherds, which went for €15,000. The scene from the Gospels is presented in a highly architectural setting with fluted columns, foliage friezes, coffered vaults and basket-handle arches. The bas-relief (35 x 23.5 cm/13.8 x 9.3 in), which may have been made in Mechelen or Brabant in the mid-16th century, was presented in a large oak frame. It was followed by a statue of a famous figure carved in marble: a Young Heracles (80 x 30 x 26 cm/31.5 x 11.8 x 10.2 in) dating to the 19th century, which sold for €8,800.
The paintings included this panel by Sebastian Vrancx, which stood out for its lively subject matter: a Skirmish (73 x 103.5 cm/28.7 x 40.7 in)—one of his favorite themes along with the battles and military exploits, in which he specialized. The tumultuous work finally garnered €19,500.
Some elegant furniture also performed well, including an ebony veneered cabinet with ripple moldings, two doors opening onto ten drawers veneered with blond tortoiseshell, ebony and bone bands, and a mirror-backed 'stage' that sits behind a door framed by Doric columns. The 17th-century cabinet (78 x 88 x 43 cm/20.7 x 34.6 x 16.9 in) fetched €6,800. A large Regency period oak game table (87 x 154 x 69 cm/34.3 x 60.6 x 27.2 in), featuring a Breccia marble top and decorative foliage and tracery details on the body and legs, also left for a new home at €5,500.