From Dalí to Royal Decrees: Akiba Antiques’ Latest Estate Offerings

James Ardis
Published on

Salvador Dalí’s obsession with rhinoceroses began with an Albrecht Dürer woodcut of the animal, which hung in Dalí’s childhood home. Later in life, Dalí found connections to rhinoceros horns in the work of other masters, including Leonardo da Vinci and Johannes Vermeer. He even dreamed of making a statue of himself as a cosmic rhinoceros, notes The Dalí Universe. Later this April, Akiba Antiques will offer numerous statues by Dalí of his favorite mammal.

Salvador Dalí bronze rhinoceros. Photo from Akiba Antiques.
Salvador Dalí bronze rhinoceros. Photo from Akiba Antiques.

Several of the rhinoceros sculptures coming to auction by Dalí are a nod to Dürer’s woodcut of the same subject. These rhinoceroses look similar to the creatures in real life, except for the lace embellishments around their torsos. Dalí deviates from Dürer’s work by adding a sea urchin in each sculpture, which the rhinoceros looks down at with interest.

Those looking for a more surreal work from Dalí can consider his Rhinoceros Cosmique (estimate: USD 1,000 – $3,000). The rhino in this sculpture still wears lace. This time, though, the animal also has long, stilt-like legs. The sea urchins have multiplied, too, and are now stacked on the rhino’s back from largest to smallest.

Rhinoceros Cosmique by Salvador Dalí. Photo from Akiba Antiques.
Rhinoceros Cosmique by Salvador Dalí. Photo from Akiba Antiques.

Inkstand Likely Used to Announce the Birth of a Royal 

Despite being born into the Spanish royal family, Infanta María de la Paz’s childhood was marked by turbulence. By the time she was six years old, Infanta Paz’s mother had lost the crown, and the entire family fled Spain during the Glorious Revolution. To make matters worse, many believe Infanta Paz was not the rightful daughter of King Francisco, but instead a result of Queen Isabella II’s affair with a diplomat. In his old age, this diplomat even lived with Infanta Paz for over 25 years, strengthening this theory. 

Years before all of this, though, it was time to celebrate the impending birth of Infanta Paz. Part of Akiba Antiques’ upcoming auction is an elaborately decorated inkstand likely used to pen the royal decree announcing her imminent birth (estimate: $2,000 – $10,000).

19th-century silver royal inkstand. Photo from Akiba Antiques.
19th-century silver royal inkstand. Photo from Akiba Antiques.

Details of the inkstand include two gargoyles, each staring at one of the inkwells. A dark blue color theme unifies the stand, from the tops of the inkwells to the small, bead-like feet at the bottom. 

Marble Sculptures with International Appeal 

Marble sculptures of a dancing faun (estimate: $10,000 – $30,000) and Aphrodite (estimate: $10,000 – $30,000) by 19th-century Italian artist Antonio Frilli are also on offer from Akiba Antiques. Frilli’s Florentine workshop had its eyes on international markets. Despite the limited transportation options available in Frilli’s lifetime, he managed to exhibit his works in Melbourne (1881), Philadelphia (1876), and Glasgow (1888), among other stops around the world.

Dancing Faun by Antonio Frilli. Photo from Akiba Antiques.
Dancing Faun by Antonio Frilli. Photo from Akiba Antiques.

Both of Frilli’s pieces available from Akiba Antiques demonstrate the artist’s detailed work with marble. Dancing Faun, for example, shows the subject in movement as he prepares to clack a pair of cymbals and press down on a percussion instrument attached to his foot. 

Akiba Antiques’  Estate Finds Throughout France and Miami auction begins on April 29th, 2021, at 12:00 PM EDT. View the full catalog and register to bid on LiveAuctioneers.

Want to stay up to date on the latest from the auction industry? Auction Daily recently looked at the state of the market as of April 2021.

Media Source
Writer
James Ardis
James Ardis
Senior Writer and Editor

James Ardis is a writer, editor, and content strategist focused on the auction industry. His company, James Ardis Writing, has partnered with auction houses, galleries, and many clients outside the art world.

More in the auction industry