A PAIR of extremely impressive and historically important lead Finials by John van Nost the Elder, one of the greatest producers of lead sculptures in the early 18th century, will be offered for sale in the auction of Garden Statuary, Architectural Items and Decorative Fossils at Summers Place Auctions (In association with Sotheby’s), which will take place in Billingshurst, West Sussex on Tuesday, May 19, 2009.

wrest-park-finial.jpgThe rare and fine lead lidded finials, which date from the early 18th century were made for Wrest Park, near Bedford, which is now owned by English Heritage, but was previously seat of the de Grey Family and later the Marquises of Kent. Measuring 274cm overall, the finials are estimated at £40,000-60,000.

James Rylands, one of the experts in charge, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be selling these magnificent finials by van Nost – one of the greatest makers of the 18th century. In 2004, Sotheby’s sold a sundial by Thomas Tompion with a carved stone pedestal by van Nost, also from Wrest Park for £173,600. There is an engraving by Johannes Kip of Wrest Park, circa 1705, which shows both the sundial and finials in situ.

He continues: “In the current economic climate, we do feel that Garden Statuary is an extremely solid asset! ”

Also from the 18th century is a rare and monumental Georgian carved Portland stone neo-classical tazza, made from a single piece of stone with a bowl that measures a magnificent 200cm in diameter. It is estimated at £15,000-25,000.

Also of monumental proportions is an impressive cast iron bath dating from the first half of the 19th century measuring 333cm wide by 184cm deep, which is expected to fetch £3,000-5,000.

A delightful but rare zinc late 19th century figure of ‘The girl on the moon’ by Louis Hottot also estimated at £30,000-50,000. The piece depicts a reclining naked girl on the crescent of the moon surrounded by stylised clouds. Louis Hottot (1829-1905) exhibited at the Salon from 1885 and it is believed that this group was reputedly made for the 1900 ‘Exposition Universelle’ in Paris.

A carved limestone figure of a hunter and stag, with natural antlers, also dating from the late 19th century, and produced in either Eastern French or German is estimated at £12,000-18,000.

Within the sale are two pairs of cranes, both from the 19th century. One pair, by Matthew W Johnson, while the other were produced in Japan. The pair by Johnson are very similar to the crane which appears on the title page of his mid 19th century catalogue of ornamental vases, fountains, sundials and tazza’s etc. in artificial stone (estimate: £2,500-4,000), while a pair of unusually large Japanese Meiji period (1868-1912) bronze cranes measuring 217 high is estimated at £6,000-10,000.

The sale will also have a section devoted to pieces from the 20th century. Among these is an impressive courtyard suite of brecchia marble, produced in Italy in the 1930s. The suite comprises four lidded urns on black pedestals (Est: £15,000-25,000) and a large fountain with central medusa mask, which is also estimated at £15,000-25,000.

The items can be viewed in the Walled Garden, Stane Street, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9AB

The catalogue will be available a month before the sale and will be fully illustrated on the website.

Friday, May 15 – Monday, May 18: 10am – 4pm
(plus the morning of the sale)

Sealed Bid Auction
Friday, May 15 – Thursday, May 21: 10am-4pm

NEXT SALE: Tuesday, October 20, 2009.
The Sealed Bid sale will finish on Thursday, October 22.

For further information on the auction, visit www.summersplaceauctions.com or Call 01403 331331