After successes in London, New York and Los Angeles, Bonhams is to hold its first Decorative Arts sale in Paris, with Rembrandt Bugatti's (1884-1916) bronze wildebeest, Gnou, the predicted top lot.
The sculpture carries a €320,000-380,000 ($430,000-510,000) estimate ahead of the highly anticipated sale.
At the outbreak of the first world war, Rembrant Bugatti, who was deeply inspired by the animal world, was devastated by Antwerp Zoo's decision to kill many of its animals and livestock. As a direct result of this, in 1916, at the age of 31, the artist ended his own life. His deep affinity with the animal world remains evident in his sculpture.
The artist is hugely collectible, with his Babouin Sacre Hamadryas sculpture having achieved more than $2m at Sotheby's in 2006.
The sale, which is to be held in Paris' iconic Grand Palais building, will feature over 145 lots of French decorative arts, including other notable art deco and art nouveau pieces.
Bonhams' director of design, Mark Oliver, commented: "It is hugely exciting to be taking decorative arts back to the place that was central to the launch of art nouveau and art deco 113 years ago, the Grand Palais in Paris.
"Having achieved the outstanding price of £277,250 ($444,059) for the art deco sculpture of the Dolly Sisters by Demetre Chiparus last year, which sold to a French buyer, we are looking forward to offering more stunning works of the highest quality."
The Grand Palais building housed the famous Exposition Universelle of 1900; a World's Fair of international acclaim that aimed to celebrate design from previous centuries as well as inspiring the designers and artists of the future.
Other notable lots set to feature at the sale include four key art nouveau works in bronze by Raoul Larche (1860-1912), which carry estimates ranging from €8,000 to €30,000 ($11,000 to $40,000).
One million people worldwide now consider themselves serious art collectors, compared with just 10,000 in 1980 - testament to the increasingly global nature of the art world, with India, China, Russia and the Middle East increasingly prominent. For more information on the investment potential of this expanding market, visit Paul Fraser Collectibles' free guide to investing in art and photography.
We also have a range of museum grade art and photography items currently in stock.