A pair of busts from the collection of Prince and Princess Henry de La Tour d'Auvergne Lauraguais made £241,250 yesterday (May 3), against an estimate of £30,000-50,000.
Achieving an increase of 382.5%, the busts featured as a standout lot of an auction where estimates were continually beaten.
The 19th century busts depict the most illustrious member of the French noble family, Henry de La Tour d'Auvergne and Louis II de Bourbon, Prince of Condé. They were created after the marbles by Jérome Derbais, which are now held in the Musée Condé.
The pair were military heroes who helped bring the thirty years' war (1618-1648) to an end in France. Henry de La Tour d'Auvergne went on to become marshal general of France, giving him authority over all the French armies.
A similar pair of busts were sold in Sotheby's London showrooms in 2007 for £114,000, demonstrating a 16.7% pa rise for the item at auction.
Also featuring in the sale was one of the greatest collections of 19th century scagliola, held by Princess Anne de La Tour d'Auvergne Lauraguais, who is an expert in the field. A pair of panels from the collection, made by Enrico Hugford, sold for £91,250, an impressive 204.1% increase on estimate.
The highest bids of the sale, however, came from a gilt bronze mounted secrétaire á abbattant by the renowned ébeniste, Joseph. Stamped twice by the master craftsman, the majestic item made £385,250 against an estimate of £150,000-300,000.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has this British John Linnell George III period commode for collectors of fine antique furniture.