If you're an entry-level investor, or are looking to top-up your existing art collection with a nice piece of sculpture, then Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen's Metal Works, Silver, Jewellery and Bronze Art objects sale in Munich on Wednesday (May 4) might be worth a closer look.
The sale's predicted highlight is a sculpture from 1899 entitled Hebe (or 'Lifting') by Agathon Léonard (or Léonard Agathon van Weydevelt, 1841-1923) the French Art Nouveau sculptor.
The piece depicts the goddess of youth as a naked female figure, complete with an elaborate hairstyle and headdress. She is depicted in a dance pose on top of a rock. In the figure's right hand is a patera (a shallow dish used for drinking).
Measuring just 34.2cm, this ivory figure's small size contrasts its impressive €15,000-18,000 pre-sale estimate.
Especially notable is the intricate carving of the figure's arms, decorated with brass rings. The work also bears a scratched signature, "A. Leonard", on its pedestal.
According to Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen's notes, the figure has had "minimal retouching" for the sake of restoration. Bidders will surely be dancing to get a closer look at this small piece of history when it appears for sale on Wednesday.