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Bronze cat sculptures by Dylan Lewis will headline Elite Decorative Arts auction in Florida, May 19
A pair of life-size bronze sculptures by renowned South African artist Dylan Lewis (b. 1954), titled Leopard Crushing Serpent, is the expected top lot at an auction planned for Saturday, May 19, by Elite Decorative Arts in Boynton Beach, Fla.
The bronzes carry a pre-sale estimate of $200,000-$250,000, and that may be too modest. The works are rare – one is edition 6/8, the other 7/8 – and they are the only pair available; all the others are in private hands. Their presence at the entrance to an estate or home would make a strong and unique statement. Each figure is 53 inches tall by 71 inches long by 21 inches deep.
Dylan Lewis is considered one of the premier cat sculptors in the world. The work to be sold is pictured in the artist’s limited-edition book titled Forces of Nature, a signed copy of which will be offered as part of the offered lot. In June 2011, Christie’s in London conducted an auction dedicated solely to Lewis’ works titled Predators and Prey II: the Dylan Lewis Bronzes.
Another factor pointing to a fierce bidding war for Leopard Crushing Serpent is the fact that Lewis created the works at the end of the cat sculpting part of his career, before shifting his focus to the human body. Leopard Crushing Serpent portends that shift, as it breaks from the mold of realism (which had been Lewis’ oeuvre) and enters a more abstract and mythical realm.
Along with the Lewis sculpture and other bronzes, the auction will feature a selection of fine antiques, to include original paintings, porcelain, art glass, estate jewelry, silver, ivory, jade, Asian antiques and more. Internet bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com and phone and absentee bids will also be taken. Many lots may be viewed online, at www.eliteauction.com.
Another lot that may touch six figures or more is a pair of impressive ivory elephant tusks on stands (est. $75,000-$100,000)
Three bronzes, in addition to the Lewis work, are expected to attract keen bidder interest. The first is a sculpture by Lynn Chadwick (Br., 1914-2003), titled Winged Figures Version I (est. $50,000-$70,000, an estimate that seems quite reasonable, considering the work is appraised at $125,000). It depicts a male and female winged figure, each with a gilded, geometric-shape face.
The second is a bronze sculpture with gold patina by Pierre Arman (Fr./Am., 1928-2005), titled Violin and Trumpet (est. $10,000-$40,000, with an appraised value of $40,000). One of a limited edition of eight, the work has an abstract design that fuses a violin and trumpet. It is signed to the front and numbered, and sits on a black marble base (overall height: 23 ¼ inches).
The third is a large bronze sculpture depicting Joan of Arc entering Orleans with a fan, by the French artist Emmanuel Fremiet (1824-1910). The work, featuring a two-tone gilded design and signed to the bronze base (and mounted on a red marble base) is overall 25 ½ inches tall. It is unique in that Joan of Arc’s head and hand are ivory. It is expected to command $8,000-$10,000.
Headlining the Asian objects category is a rare antique Chinese hand-carved ivory chess set with wooden box (est. $7,000-$10,000)
Also sold will be a pair of large and impressive 18th or 19th century carved ivory emperor and empress figures, with fitted wooden bases (est. $5,000-$7,000)
Returning to artwork, an original hand-signed aquatint and carborundum etching by the renowned Spanish artist Joan Miro (1893-1983), titled Sala Gaspar Barcelona, carries a pre-sale estimate of $6,000-$8,000. The etching, hand-signed lower right, measures 41 inches by 26 inches, plus a mat and frame. It also comes with a certificate of authenticity and an appraisal.
Rounding out just some of the day’s top lots is an oil on canvas painting by French artist Jules Ribard, depicting an Arabian cityscape scene with Bedouin figures, signed, 18 inches by 30 inches (est. $4,000-$6,000);
Previews will be held on Friday, May 18, from 11-5, and Saturday, May 19, the date of sale, from 11 a.m. until the first gavel comes down at 1 p.m. Elite Decorative Arts is located in the Quantum Town Center, at 1034 Gateway Boulevard (Suites 106-108) in Boynton Beach, a town situated along Florida’s Gold Coast, half-way between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
Elite Decorative Arts has two big sales lined up for back-to-back days in June: a fine decorative arts auction on Saturday, June 23, and a sale dedicated to fine bronze, artwork, art glass, porcelain, estate jewelry, silver, ivory, jade, Asian antiques and more on Sunday, June 24. Quality consignments are still being sought for this and all future Elite Decorative Arts auctions.
To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, you may call Elite Decorative Arts at (561) 200-0893; or, you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Elite Decorative Arts and the May 19 and June 23-24 auctions please log on to www.eliteauction.com.