Rare Chiparus figure to flush out auction collectors

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 23rd October, 2017

A rare Demétre Chiparus figurine is a major highlight of Sotheby’s Australia forthcoming Fine Asian, Australian & European Arts & Design auction from 6pm Tuesday October 24 in Sydney at The Hughenden 14 Queen Street, Woollahra.

The circa 1925 Dancer of Kapurthala has been held in the distinguished South Australian Angas family collection for more than 90 years.

With a catalogue estimate of $80,000-$100,000, the direct inspiration source for the alluringly slender figure appears to be the Spanish flamenco dancer Anita Delgado.

While attending the wedding of Spanish King Alfonso XIII, the Maharaja of Kapurthala, Jagatjit Singh Bahadur, watched Delgardo perform at the ceremony and became infatuated.

Initially refusing his advances, the dancer would later marry the Maharajah in a Sikh wedding in India – becoming the Maharini of Kapurthalia, Prem Kaur, in the process.

Another auction highlight is the 1964 Melbourne Cup won by New Zealand horse Polo Prince.

Held since 1999 in a private Queensland collection, the cup was presented to Polo Prince co-owner Mrs Edna Davis by then Governor-General William Sidney, 1st Viscount De L’Isle.

The gelding won by a length-and-a-quarter and failed to break the course record by only one-tenth of a second – in doing so becoming the eighth New Zealand horse in 13 years to win the Melbourne Cup.

Any item of furniture made entirely from solid silver is rare and this auction’s 1890s Russian silver guéridon by August Teodor Werner (1836-1902) of Minsk is no exception.

From a Polish family of German extraction, Werner was held in high esteem by silver specialists of the period and produced high quality silver and gold works for the Russian market.

Another auction feature is an impressive gilt bronze figure of the 11-headed Avalokieshvara – an esoteric form of Bodhisattva believed to have overcome 11 hardships to attain Buddhahood.

The painting Christmas Eve 2001 is a fine example of Chinese artist Xia Junna’s work, which covers cross cultural boundaries.

Born in Mongolia, Xia was relatively protected from the ‘Red Wave’ of the Cultural Revolution due to the region’s isolation.

As a child, her artistic talents were recognised and in 1987 she entered the Central Academy of Fine Arts High School. There, Xia Junna was tutored by Shen  Ling – regarded as a leading exponent of China’s ‘New Generation’ painters – who encouraged her creativity and contemporary style.

Another painting is a major canvas by Nicolae Grigorescu (1838-1907), consigned by descendants of the former Romanian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Viorel Tilea.

Viewing 30 and 34 Queen Street, Woollahra. 

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