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April 07, 2016, 08:39 PM

David Backhouse lead centaurs top Summers Place live sale

By Thornton Kay

One of the David Backhouse centaurs, 16,000 the pair [photo SPA

Parrot and butterfly overmantle 600 [photo SPA
31ins Lapis lazuli 5,000 [photo SPA
Coade stone girl with birds nest 15,000 [photo SPA

West Sussex, UK - A life-size bronze centaur by the sculptor David Backhouse sold for 16,000 at Summers Place live garden statuary, taxidermy and geology auction on Tuesday. It seems the piece was the male part of a group of two centaurs, a male and female, originally installed at Whiteleys in Bayswater before 1999 before being removed around 2010.

A life-size Coade figure of a young woman holding a bird's nest containing nestlings was third highest lot at 15,000. No doubt this piece had an allegorical or biblical significance which appears to have been long lost. The base was marked COADE TERRA-COTTA LAMBETH which is unusual for Coadestone. The catalogue stated that the stamp 'terra-cotta' meaning baked clay, was later adopted by John Marriott Blashfield, who is reputed to have bought some of the Coade moulds following the demise of the Coade manufactory, in the late 1830's.

Top lot at 20,000 was a 10ft high monumental bronze horse from Camden Lock Market originally commissioned in the early 1990s as one of the fixtures in the Old Stables 3 storey indoor market designed by the architect John Dickinson.

Another unusual item was a Coalbrookdale cast iron occasional table with its original bronzed finish, which sold for 4,000. Catalogued as circa 1860, stamped with registration design number 83799 and with diamond patent registration stamp, 52cm 20ins diameter. This design is number 50 in the 1875 Coalbrookdale Castings Catalogue, Section II, page 199. It is extremely rare for cast iron tables of this date to still retain their original bronzed finish. This model was originally offered in white with a marble top presumably for outdoor use or in a gold bronzed finish with a perforated iron top as in this example for use indoors.

An early 20th century wall sundial by George Wragge Ltd of Wardry Works Manchester sold for 2,200. It was 3ft high by 2ft wide, with pierced bronze gnomon and raised lettering Docet Umbra, 'the shadow shows us'. Wragge was known for being one of the first adopters of Daylight Saving time for his workforce in 1909.

In the taxidermy section, mainly birds, an unusual overmantle tripartite case with parrots flanking butterflies, in a red-looking hardwood, which sold for 600, and the top lot was a pair of Sea Eagles at 2,200. Top geology lot was a 31ins high freeform polished Lapis lazuli 31ins high which sold for 5,000.

Summers Place Auctions

Summers Place website

Story Type:  Auction Report

ID: 94473

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