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Demetre Chiparus Bronze Dances to £5,952 At Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

A Demetre Chiparus bronze and ivory sculpture danced its way to a £5,952 as part of a two-day sale of ceramics and interiors, including antiques from the home of collector and dealer John Penrose. The sale was held at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Donnington Priory Saleroom on Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th January.

The sculpture of a rustic dancer was created by Romanian Art Deco sculptor, Demetre Chiparus (1886-1947), who lived and worked in Paris during the early part of the 20th Century. The first of his sculptures were created in a realistic style using a technique called chryselephantine, the combination of bronze and ivory, and were exhibited at the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1914.

At the beginning of the 1920s his work started to mature as he took inspiration from the French Theatre and the Russian Ballet, as well as from early motion pictures where, by the 1920s soundtracks were beginning to be introduced. The silver gilt and brown patinated example, pictured left, is clearly modelled on a member of the Russian Ballet, or the Ballets Russes, a company of Russian ballet dancers based in Paris. [Lot 168]

An earlier bronze and ivory sculpture by French born sculptor and painter, Albert Ernest Carrier Belleuse (1824-1887), also achieved an impressive price of £2,728. A successful producer of Object D’Art, Belleuse is most famous for having François-Auguste-René Rodin as his chief assistant for six years from 1864 – 1870. [Lot 525]

High quality furniture continues to sell well at the Donnington Priory saleroom with a number of items achieving excellent results. In particular, a beautifully crafted mahogany architectural estate cabinet, circa 1770 sold for £3,720. The fluted doors opened to 24 small drawers with letters of the alphabet and adjustable shelves. [Lot 363]

From the home of John Penrose, a collector and dealer of art and antiques for more than fifty years, the cabinet came with excellent provenance. Describing his personal taste as “wide-ranging” the cabinet was sold alongside a number of items including a painted pine seed chest, in the early 19th century style. Also housing 24 small drawers the chest, which stands at 138cm high and 69cm wide, was purchased for £1,488. [Lot 273]

John Penrose is known as a writer and adviser to his clients on the renovation and decoration of period homes. His art gallery; The Dollar Street Gallery was based in a Georgian townhouse in the centre of Cirencester. As Chairman of UK based charity The Discerning Eye since 2007 Penrose currently supports the organisation in its aim to encourage a wider understanding and appreciation of the visual arts.

A full catalogue and prices realised for this sale can be found online at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury auctions will hold their next sale of interiors on the 12th March this year.