A bronze by the renowned French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) being put up for sale next month by one of County Durham's leading auction houses.
Depicting the Greek mythological character Polypheme, the 24.5cm high sculpture has been valued at £12-18,000 and will be included in Addisons of Barnard Castle's Fine Art & Antiques Catalogue Sale on Wednesday, March 17.
Conceived in 1888, the bronze is signed 'A. Rodin' and carries the foundry mark 'Alexis Rudier Fondeur Paris', with the raised signature 'A. Rodin' on the underside.
Rodin's autograph can command values in excess of $3,000 on the private collectors' market, and his signature will contribute to the value of this unique and singular artwork.
The sculpture was last sold by Roland, Browse and Delbanco of London in 1959, and still carries the dealer's paper label to the underside.
"This is an attractive example of Rodin's work," said Richard Edwards, Senior Auctioneer and Valuer at Addisons, who was previously a specialist with Sotheby's and Doyle New York.
"We are hopeful that the piece will attract a great deal of interest not only because of its artistic quality but also because of its sound provenance."
Since the original sale in 1959, the sculpture has remained in the possession of the same family.
Next month's Fine Art & Antiques Catalogue Sale will also include a large collection of pieces from the Robert 'Mouseman' Thompson workshop, including dining tables, chairs, occasional tables and a number of smaller items.
Also included are some fine examples of English porcelain including a rare pair of Lowestoft blue and white pierced twin-handled baskets, a pair of Bow polychrome leaf-form pickle dishes and a Derby pot pourri "frill" vase, all dating from the 18th century.
Bids can be made in person, via the telephone or online.