Upcoming Akiba Antiques Sale Explores Sculpture and Form

Liz Catalano
Published on

Over 500 lots from around the world will be available in Akiba Antiques’ upcoming auction. Held on October 20th, 2020, at 2:00 PM EDT, the sale will include works from Victorian England, the French Empire, the Czech Republic, and beyond. The auction gives special focus to sculptures and decorative art. Styles range from the classical to the avant-garde.

Leading the lots are several French mantel clocks from the 19th century. This period saw numerous political and social upheavals, starting with the aftershocks of the French Revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte’s takeover in 1804 invited a wave of luxury goods that matched his expensive taste. Representing this period in the auction is a gilt mantel clock telling François-René de Chateaubriand’s story of star-crossed lovers. It is offered with an estimate of USD 5,000 to $15,000 and includes the original pendulum and key.

French bronze mantel clock, c. 1855. Image from Akiba Antiques.
French bronze mantel clock, c. 1855. Image from Akiba Antiques.

A few decades after the Napoleonic empire fell, France saw the return of the monarchy and its subsequent collapse, the second attempt at a republic, and another empire under Napoleon III. This context gave rise to nostalgic sculptures that recalled ancient Greco-Roman myths. This sale will include a bronze clock created around 1855 ($8,000 – $16,000). It shows a red marble globe resting on Hercules’ bent shoulders.

There is also a variety of blown glassworks in the listings. Among them is a Murano glass sculpture attributed to Andrea Zanetti ($1,000 – $2,000). Six brightly-colored birds are shown perched on a clear branch. Zanetti is a third-generation glassblower specializing in artistic Murano glass.

A. Zanetti blown glass bird sculpture. Image from Akiba Antiques.
A. Zanetti blown glass bird sculpture. Image from Akiba Antiques.

This auction samples from a range of non-European carvings and sculptures as well. From China is an elaborate ruyi scepter made of carved rosewood ($3,000 – $6,000). Reaching its height during the Qing dynasty, the ruyi was considered a traditional symbol of good fortune. Ruyi scepters were used at all levels of Chinese society but this particular example was likely owned by a wealthier family. Dragons and pheasants, carved in high relief, appear to be crawling over the six-foot-long piece.

Chinese ruyi scepter. Image from Akiba Antiques.
Chinese ruyi scepter. Image from Akiba Antiques.

Those interested in sculptural decorative art will find a wide selection. A pair of two Moser vases from the Czech Republic will be presented with a presale estimate of $2,000 to $4,000. Each vase is covered in raised enamel honeybees and acanthus leaves. They were created shortly after the brand’s launch more than a century ago. Since then, Moser has built a reputation on glass art that reflects traditional Czech culture.

A four-piece set of papier-mâché figures in the style of Russian artist Kazimir Malevich are also highlighted ($800 – $1,600). An avant-garde artist, Malevich believed that “the appropriate means of representation is always the one which gives fullest possible expression to feeling… and which ignores the familiar appearance of objects.” The available statuettes draw on that philosophy; they resemble the human figure but are checkered in blocks of mismatched color. “Guggenheim Museum, 1994, SRGF” is painted on each base.

Four sculptural figures in the style of Kazimir Malevich. Image from Akiba Antiques
Four sculptural figures in the style of Kazimir Malevich. Image from Akiba Antiques

Beyond sculpture, the auction will include a Patek Philippe ref. 5131 wristwatch ($100,000 – $150,000), two paintings from French portrait artist Constant Joseph Brochart ($4,000 – $8,000 each), and several Chanel leather bags.

The live auction will begin at 2:00 PM EDT on October 20th, 2020. For the complete catalog, visit LiveAuctioneers.